This article is from the CD-Recordable FAQ, by Andy McFadden (email@example.com) with numerous contributions by others.
The first thing to do is look at the web pages for the products you're
using. Sometimes there will be software or firmware updates, or pages with
information on common problems. Doing a web search or scanning through
news archives on servers like Google Groups (http://www.google.com/)
will often turn up relevant material.
If you don't find anything, calling or sending an e-mail message to the
technical support department for the product that is giving you trouble
is a good second step. If you want to contact other users, posting a
message to one of the Usenet newsgroups is a reasonable thing to do.
You will get faster, more accurate responses to questions if you include
enough detail in your mail message or news posting. For most problems
having to do with recording, you need to specify:
(1) Platform. PC, Mac, Sun, whatever.
(2) Operating system, with version. Win95, Win98, WinNT3.5, WinNT4, etc.
Mention any interesting goodies, e.g. IE4 Active Desktop.
(3) CD-R brand, model, and firmware revision, e.g. "Yamaha CDR-102 v1.00".
(4) Other relevant hardware details. If the recorder comes in SCSI and
IDE or parallel-port versions, specify which you were using, and what
sort of interface was used (e.g. "SCSI, Adaptec 2940U"). For SCSI
and IDE device problems, listing the other devices connected to the
same interface is a good idea.
(5) Software in use, including version numbers, e.g. "Easy-CD Pro 95 v1.2".
(6) Brand of media. Be sure to specify CD-R or CD-RW.
(7) What were you trying to do? What specific steps did you take to go
about it? Have you tried anything to correct the problem, and if so,
what were the results?
(8) Specific error messages seen. Write down *exactly* what it says, and
any numeric error codes along with it. Be sure to write down what it
*said*, not what you think it *meant*. Add your interpretation of
events only after you've gotten all the details down.
Try to include any details which you think might be relevant. Take the
time to organize your report so that it is easy to understand. And PLEASE
check this FAQ for the answers first! Much of the volume on the newsgroups
is from people whose questions are already answered here.