Record that Error Message

We receive frequent contact at the Help Desk with messages indicating that there has been an error event on an end-user’s PC.  These messages often read similarly to this: “I can’t open Acrobat.  It says there was an error.”  While this is certainly enough information to open an inquiry into the nature of the error, it isn’t enough information with which to determine a solution.

To further complicate matters, once an error message has been cleared from the screen, the user usually isn’t aware of happened to cause the error to appear, making it very difficult for a technician to replicate the problem.  While sometimes this information can be located in the event log, often it cannot.

The solution to this is simple:  Should you receive an error on your PC, whenever possible, document the exact text.  This can be done by taking a screenshot (CTRL+SHIFT_PrtScn), opening a text file and transposing the error message verbatim, or even using the camera on a mobile phone to take a photo of your screen.  Having the verbatim error text is the best way to enable your technician to achieve a swift resolution and get you back to work.