Tom's Forums F.A.Q.

Welcome to Tom's Community!

Here in the Tom’s Community we discuss computer hardware, software, gadgets, gaming and geekery in general. We extend a warm welcome to you and invite you to participate in the ongoing discourse, sharing with like-minded technology enthusiasts from across the globe. Before you begin, though, there are just a few things you should know about, just to make sure you are on the same page as everyone else.

  • Tom's Forums
    Our forums contain expert users from many nations engaging each other in discussion about all the latest topics relating to hardware, software and more. Here you can post a topic for feedback, browse the hottest buzz of the day, or just hang out.

    A Brief History of Tom's Hardware
    Tom's Hardware was founded in 1996 by Dr. Thomas Pabst and is owned and operated by Purch (formerly TechMedia Network Inc.), one of the top online publishers for science and technology in the world. Since 1996, Tom's Hardware has provided articles, news, price comparisons and reviews on hardware, software and gadgets and is a major gathering point for technology enthusiasts on the web.

    A Brief History of Tom's Guide
    Tom's Guide is a technology-focused website owned and operated by Purch (formerly TechMedia Network Inc.). The publication was founded by TG Publishing LLC, a subsidiary company of Bestofmedia Group, and was originally known as Gear Digest. In September 2007, Gear Digest was rebranded as Tom's Guide. Tom’s guide provides buying advice, in-depth reviews and expert recommendations on mobile technology and a variety of consumer electronics.
Membership: Why Should I Become A Member?

Becoming a part of the Tom's Community is free, and you get top-tier access to the latest news and information, as well as being able to post in our forums. One big added benefit is that as a member, you will not see any ads while browsing the forums—and if you do, take a screenshot, send it to us, and we'll get rid of it!

  • How Do I Create an Account?
    Creating an account is simple! Just click the link titled “Register” in the top-right of the main site and it will take you to account registration.
    How Can I Confirm My E-mail?
    Once you register with a valid e-mail address, a confirmation e-mail will be sent to you. Be sure to follow the instructions in the e-mail to confirm your account, and check your spam folder as sometimes the email ends up there. Be sure to confirm your email as soon as possible to receive updates when your questions and comments are responded to.
    How Do I Subscribe or Unsubscribe to E-mail Alerts?
    Alerts are automatically sent to you when someone replies to a thread you have replied to. You can change this in your account settings. You can also manually track threads by clicking the “Email me updates” and “Track this thread” options that appear on the first post of the thread.
    How Do I Track Threads I've Read & Contributed To?
    Thread tracking is done automatically for threads you’ve responded to or started, and you can find these shown in the forum with little blue flags next to them for easy identification. You can also find a complete listing of these under “Tracked threads”. A little orange flag next to a thread means there has been no new activity, and you’ve already read all the responses in that thread. You can find these under the “Read threads” tab.
    How Do I Cancel My Account?
    To delete your account, go to the following URL: http://www.tomshardware.com/community/account Please be aware that this is a permanent removal and we won't be able to restore your username or posts once removed.
    How Do I Exchange Private Messages?
    You can access the private messaging area by clicking "Private messages" in the right-hand column while logged in. This is also where private messages sent to you will show up. To send a private message, you can specify the user in the messaging dialogue, or simply click the red (or blue) envelope icon next to a user profile displayed in a thread. Please note that you’ll have to confirm your account and make at least one (1) post before you can use the private messaging feature.
How Do I Publish a Message?

While browsing the forums, you can click "Post a New Thread" to pose your question or start a discussion. Fill in the appropriate boxes, be sure to select the correct category and subcategory for your post, and then click “Publish My Thread”. It's as simple as that.

  • Are there Rules for Posting?
    We expect all users to adhere to our Rules of Conduct (see below) for posting discussions, questions, and polls. Our community team ensures that forums are moderated and kept safe and clean.
    Why Hasn't My Question Gotten an Answer?
    The first thing to do is to review your question. Was it properly worded and the issue concisely described so that our experts can review it quickly? Is the topic in the right forum? Sometimes questions may not receive an answer right away, or at all.
How Do I Improve My Standing?

Our community grants badges for subject matter expertise, earned through activity on the forums. Everyone has the opportunity to earn badges, which display in your profile as markers of progress in your contributions to the discussion. The number and type of badges you can win depends entirely on you.

  • What is a Badge?
    A badge is a medal of honor, and a designation of esteem within the community. Badges help to identify and highlight the most active members, and presents a measure of trust amongst users.
    How do I get badges?
    You must be a registered user first. Then, the more you participate, the more you’ll earn badges. Some of the things you can do to earn badges include answering member questions, creating topics, commenting on the latest news, adding an avatar, or alerting moderation. Expertise Badges are also granted and based on forum category. You earn expertise badges by having your answer selected as the "Best Answer" in a section of the forum. The requirements to win a badge depend on the category, and the type of badge you are going after. There are also “Legacy” badges granted to long-time members of the community. You can find out more about badges at the following URL: http://www.tomshardware.com/community/badges.html
    What do I need to get to the next badge level?
    For most badges, there are three levels of advancement. You can check the ongoing status and progress of your badges under your profile page under “Badges in Progress”.
    Why haven't my badges updated?
    Badges might take up to a day to update, so you might wait up to 24 hours or more before seeing the results of your recent actions on the forums.
    Can't someone just post a bunch and answer their own questions to acquire badges?
    Not really, and trying to fool the system and its safeguards may result in moderator action on your account. Multiple accounts used in this way may also result in penalty to your score.
    Can I lose a badge?
    Yes, if you are granted a badge based on the tags in a thread, and a moderator later determines that those tags are not valid – you might end up losing the Best Answer that counted for that thread.
For more information regarding badges and Best Answers, please refer to this quick guide.


How Are the Forums Moderated?

Our forums are moderated by a team of dedicated volunteers under the supervision of the Community Managers. Forum quality is closely monitored to ensure a safe, friendly environment for discussion.

  • Can I Become a Moderator?
    Typically moderators are chosen from long-time members of the community and selected for their maturity in dealing with difficult posts. They are appointed on an as-needed basis and are selected with the approval of the incumbent moderators. You can’t request to become one, but if you show exemplary patience and maturity, and have been a helpful, contributing member of the community, rest assured that it will be noticed and taken into account when new moderators are needed.
    Why Have I Been Banned?
    Moderators ensure that the Rules of Conduct are being followed by users on the forums, and will take steps to ban individuals that present a danger to civil discourse on the boards. If you've been banned, chances are that you weren't obeying the Rules of Conduct and a moderator took action against your account. Most bans are temporary and last only a few days, but major infractions may result in a permanent ban from the Tom's Community.
    What are the Rules of Conduct?
    The Rules of Conduct are general guidelines for regular users on acceptable behavior in the Tom's Hardware forums.

    Do...

    • 1. Search the forums. Someone else may have already answered your question/discussed the topic.

      2. Read the stickies. They answer a lot of questions, and are great reads too!

      3. Use paragraphs, and avoid walls of text that are hard to read.

      4. Provide details on what is going wrong, and how. Share your hardware specs and OS, when applicable.

      5. Keep criticism constructive. Attack the idea, not the person.
      1. Check out our guide to posting images and styling your posts. You can also see how other users do the same by clicking "BBCode" above their post.
      2. Report violators to the Moderation Team by clicking "Report" above the post.
  • Don't...

    • 1. Post in ALL CAPS or use excessive punctuation!!!

      2. Share personal information, like your email address. Identify theft is real.

      3. Bump posts, claim "first!"

      4. Hijack a topic. Stick to the original conversation.

      5. Ask for help pirating, cracking passwords, or bypassing copyright protection – this includes trying to bypass forgotten administrator passwords and BIOS passwords on your computer. We also will not help you try to get around any IP bans.

      6. Ask for help on completing homework assignments. We are happy to help you learn something new, but we won’t do your work for you!

      7. Necro post. If a thread is clearly old (created more than 3 months ago) and the discussion is over, please don't post to it. However, feel free to link to the old thread in your new post, just to add additional context. The majority of necro posts are deleted, and those threads are then closed.

      8. Upvote your own posts. Our system allows for this, but we would really prefer if this didn't happen. Our moderators view it as an abuse of the system and if they spot it, they will reach out to you to request that you stop.
  • Avatars
    Avatars should not be obscene, display excessive violence, flash enough to be a danger to epileptics, or defame any individual, group, party, or company. Violations will prompt a moderator to PM you and request that you change it. Failure to do so can result in your right to display an avatar being revoked. Moderators are the final arbiters in determining when an avatar is inappropriate or in violation of the guidelines.
    Signatures
    An imported signature banner shall be no larger than 75 x 400 size, and you will be allowed to display only one banner.
    If the banner contains forwarding links to either past or present websites that have caused problems, your signature privileges will be suspended.
    Video Content
    We encourage the posting of videos! They can be very helpful and having a visual aid can be very beneficial for some people, however, we do have some guidelines for this.

    • 1. ALL videos posted should include a text description of what the video contains. This doesn’t have to be very long, but a sentence or two will let people know what they are about to view.

      2. When posting a video as a solution or reply in somebody else’s thread, the video must be relevant to the discussion.

      3. Threads for standalone video content (reviews, unboxings, gameplay videos, etc) are permitted, but please ensure that they are posted in the correct forum section. The threads should also be posted in the “Discussion” format and should have a title that accurately describes the video being posted. Further text descriptions in the body of the post are also encouraged.
  • Violations
    It violates the Tom's Hardware Rules of Conduct if you engage in any of the following activity:

    • 1. Post, promote or distribute any content that is illegal.

      2. Promote or encourage activity which is illegal, such as hacking, cracking, scamming.

      3. Ask for help pirating, cracking passwords, or bypassing copyright protection - this includes helping to bypass your forgotten administrator password on your computer.

      4. Harass, threaten, embarrass or insult other users, including sending unwanted messages, attacking race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Ad hominem attacks are not permitted.

      5. Hate speech is not permitted. You may not post or distribute content that is harmful, abusive, racist, homophobic, sexually explicit, defamatory, infringing, invasive of privacy, or objectionable.

      6. Disrupt the natural flow of forum discussion through vulgar language, spamming, flooding, or any variant.

      7. Trolling, defined as knowingly soliciting strong negative responses simply for shock value.

      8. Posting off-topic posts in inappropriate forums.

      9. Impersonation.

      10. Phishing. A moderator will never ask for your password.

      11. Upload or link to files which contain a virus or malware.

      12. Make posts to advertise or promote, forward chain letters, pyramid schemes or multi-level marketing programs.

      13. Soliciting of any kind. This pertains to all forms of crowdfunding, charities of all kinds, and personal panhandling/begging.

      14. G.R.A.P.E.S. (that's an acronym) are disallowed topics. This list includes guns, religion, abortion, politics, economics, sexuality, and anything related to them. The moderation team reserves the right to remove any such posts and take action as warranted. For more detail on this policy, please refer to this.
Additionally, forum accounts are non-transferable and each person should have no more than 1 active account. Actions taken by a user on one account may affect all of that user's accounts. With these in mind, please remember to have fun. Most of these guidelines are common sense, and serve to keep the forums useful for everyone. We thank you for your cooperation and support in this, and if you have any suggestions or feedback regarding the Rules of Conduct, please contact a Moderator.


What are the Terms of Use for the site?
You can find the Terms of Use at this URL:


Who do I contact if I have a problem or question?
The forum community and the moderators are happy to provide help with any technical questions you may have. For problems that fall outside the norm (disputes with moderators, issues with the site or the forums, or to appeal a ban), please send an email to community@tomshardware.com and somebody from the Community staff will reach out to you as soon as possible.


 
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