(You may fix the problem yourself this way, but don't consider that a failure - even if you don't get any XP :-).)
Your post is wonderful advice, and yet, I wonder if the aside above isn't the crux of the issue? I'd imagine that if a would-be poster stopped to do these clarifying steps first, then 90% of the time the would-be poster could figure out the problem himself. The "challenge" for PM (if one wishes to see it that way) is that without all that effort, a problem posted to PM -- even poorly structured -- can usually get a decent answer.
That aspect of PM is the dark side of the laziness and impatience principles at work -- why take a bunch of time to solve my problem myself when the community will do it for me? Fortunately, PM takes advantage of another principle, hubris, where the community races to solve even poorly phrased or trivial problems to clamor for the acclamation of their worth via XP.
All of which is to say, yes, I appreciate the point of the post, but the people who read it and understand it and follow it aren't exactly going to be the same inexperienced posters who commit the original error, no?
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