Before you ask a question in a community, try to find the answer elsewhere. This way you help yourself by stretching your mind and research abilities, and you learn things more thoroughly too. Plus it’s good idea.
Keep troubleshooting. Often we learn that it’s easier to give up and ask for help rather than persisting—when we’d get our breakthrough if we’d only delay giving up for another 10 minutes. Respect yourself, go a little further before giving up.
Google, of course. Google partial error messages, add software names to your queries, and generally try at least 3 or 4 searches before you give it up as hopeless.
Mailing lists, forums, and newsgroups. Chances are, you’re not the first person on the Earth to have this problem. Luckily we live in an age where we can search the past. Check out these resources next.
Docs. Sometimes they seem impenetrable, but give it a whack. The more you learn, the easier the documentation will be to understand and decipher.
Ask your question—but phrase it differently. Instead of asking your question directly, ask “Has anyone has seen this problem?” or “Can anyone point me in the right direction?” Likely as not, someone will have been there before, and they might know a blog posting or other resource which can help you out. This way, you show you are respectful of their time, and understand your problem is (probably) not unique.