I quickly wanted to ask if a hardware-problem related question that needs troubleshooting is even allowed here? Or does one have to ask in specialty forums? If it is allowed here, what are the rules for uploading diagnosis logfiles? Specifically:

  1. As there is no attachment possibility here, which OneClickHoster or filehosters (Dropbox) are allowed? Doesn't matter?

  2. Which file formats are OK? I.e. is an all-in-one *.zip or *.7z file OK?

  3. Are there any obligatory programs from which logfiles must be delivered? Or is the export from "system information" and a dump from a browser plus maybe analytics from ONE leading tool and maybe a few screenshots enough? (That is my specific case right now...)

And: Depending on the operating system, which are the logfiles you expect to be provided by the questioner in

  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP
  • Mac / Linux?

3 Answers 3


One thing that needs to be kept in mind is that questions need to be accessible for future users as well, so any logs should be put somewhere where it will be accessible for a very long time - thats one reason behind the use of stack.umgur for images.

Taking this into view, text based logs are king - they can be read by anyone, they can be permanently posted either inline with the question, or on pastebin of some flavour and readable without special tools. Everything can be exported to text, with a little work as well.

For the last, it really depends what the issue is, and there's no magical set of logs that will give you an overview. Post what you think you need, update the answer based on comments, and keep updating as you try things.

EDIT: Also, sanitise passwords! I've seen situations where people have put their root password on serverfault.

  • Thanks Journeyman for these important hints! I somehow missed the "longevity" criterium! I will adjust my existing posts in this regard. PS: How do you know that pastepin is commited to stay on the market longer than OneClickHoster etc.? Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 12:05
  • You don't. I really prefer inline logs where possible, though i realise its not always possible.I think i've hinted on MSO or here that a SE pastebin facility would be nice a few times - I've used various alternatives, but never for long term log sharing
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 12:08
  • I just saw for the passwords - that might've happened to me as well?! >.< How is a layman able to find out if and where his passwords are shown? I mean what have passwords to do in my logfiles? They should never be there on principle! Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 2:52
  • Well, always look at your own logs, search/grep common passwords and so on. It happens, just be aware of it
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 3:23

Hardware troubleshooting questions are on topic, as long as it's computer hardware. Your DVR or washing machine might be off topic.

We usually tolerate Dropbox, or any (reputable) file hoster. The problem is, that they'll (you you'll) throw away the file in two months, and the question becomes useless.

So if it's at all possible, try posting the plain text log file inline to keep the question self-contained. If you indent the log file text four spaces, it will show it in its own (possibly scrolling) monospaced area within your post.


So long as it deals with computer software and hardware, it is on topic.

  • And is not about programming, asking for product recommendations, about corporate IT issues, computer games, etc.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 8:15

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