Wednesday, March 31, 2010

MSI Says 'RTFM Email' Was an April Fool's Prank, Apologizes

Anyone in the tech support sector has had one of those days, you know when you get that call asking you that all so basic of questions that is right there in the manual. You hang your head in disgust just wanting to say couldn't you have just "read the f'n manual."

Well it looks like at least one person over at MSI has a pretty good sense of humor about it. Late last week reports began emerging from the MSI HQ User Forums about a new "RTFM-chip" that the company has installed. The announcement via email and forum posts reads as follows:

New announcement: RTFM-chip details revealed!‏
From: MSI HQ User to User Forum (
Sent: 26 March 2010 06: 16AM

The MSI-forum and MSI-support team are fed-up with explaining you what can be found in the manual. I mean, come on, how hard is it to read a manual?

They are printed on paper so you see them.

We have been talking to MSI for a couple of years and came up with a solution.
It has been implemented on a few boards for some time and with big success. It had various names, like CoreCenter (1st gathering tool) upto DrMOS (fully automatic)

Some of you noticed because Windows wanted you to install a driver, but you couldn't find the manufacturer. On AMD systems this was called the Away-driver.

What you didn't know is this, this driver activates the RTFM-chip. (Re-Turn inFormation to Manufacturer chip) It means it can detect if you read a manual as well stores the parameters you have set in the BIOS. As soon as you start Windows we are informed about your settings and manual readings.

As we have been monitoring peoples behavior for some time and combined those with the RMA information from returned boards. At the same time monitoring questions on the forum and matched the IP's.

We have made a discovery.

A lot of RMA is unneeded and unwanted, many happens due to user mistakes, numbers show that 90% of the RMA is OC people killing boards and newbies connecting the wrong connectors or insert parts that should not be inserted. Or simply forget to remove standoffs or CPU-power. MSI plans on tackles those numbers, and the RTFM-chip will give a readout of what you have done when it did post or attempted to post!

Checking on you isn't new, Homeland-security done this ever you installed XP-SP3 or above, but their info in encrypted so useless to MSI. So MSI decided to ban people from support, RMA and the forum who has done the damage themselves or didn't read the manual the first of next month. We know who you are, and we have gathered enough information via our RTFM-chip.

The only question is, should MSI continue to do this? As some information is real bad. Will this hurt your relation towards MSI products?

Please let us know, as we have to talk to MSI management the first of next month and make them decide what to do with the information.

To unsubscribe from these announcements, login to the forum and uncheck "Receive forum announcements and important notifications by email." in your profile.

You can view the full announcement by following this link: link since removed

The MSI HQ User to User Forum Team.

MSI has since written a nice little apology explaining that they didn't believe anyone would actually take then seriously. "We are sorry people took this for prank for serious ," says a forum post and email message from the company's support team head. "We thought of this prank after answering the many posts where people ask the obvious that is already in the manual."

I've just got to say kudos to the MSI team for having a great sense of humor and even bigger kudos for saying something many of us in the sector want to say many many times a day! I know this is just the nature of the beast, and often times people just want a little hand holding to reassure them of what they are doing. But c'mon people, save your support teams some undo pressure and try to take the time to at least double check the specification, manual, FAQ's or main website for information before asking those unnecessary questions that could have been resolved by spending a few minutes time checking it yourself.

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