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This is a question IT Support

Our IT support guy has been in the job since 1979, and never misses an opportunity to pick up a mouse and say "Hello computer" into it, Star Trek-style. Tell us your tales from the IT support cupboard, either from within or without.

(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 11:45)
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More stories from IT support.
OK, lets see what I remember...

First one:

I had one guy where the call notes went as follows:

Helpdesk: User reports PC will not turn on.
...10 minutes pass...
Helpdesk: I think the user is trying to take it apart. Get there quick!

The problem: The power switch has come away from the inside of the case, leaving the plastic button on the front of the case still there but with nothing to push against. By the time I got there he had somehow managed to tear out the button, tear out the silver plastic surround to the button, tear off the floppy drive cover and finally tear the whole front off the case: this being a compaq where if you pull the big obvious lever on the side the whole thing comes apart. I had to put the thing back together with superglue.

It turns out this guy had a history: A tech dropped by to do a ram upgrade one day and got an urgent phone call as he got there. He left the packet of ram on the desk saying he'd be back in 10 minutes after he rebooted a server or whatever. By the time he got back the guy had opened the case, laid the stick of ram on top of the motherboard (not actually inserting it anywhere) and powered on, killing the ram and the motherboard in the process...

Second one:

I've had someone with an NT4 workstation box moaning about performance. While he is yacking..

c:\psinfo \\10.fuck.socks.whatever

blah blab blah
Uptime: 200 days 3 hours 17 minutes

I try to tell him to reboot but no, he is a trader and never reboots his machine as he runs shit on it overnight...

3rd one:

I've had a site moaning about network performance and it turns out they are all trying to open a huge MS access database over the WAN. Access reads the entire file on open so 100 people opening a 2 gig file over a 10 meg WAN link was doing some serious havoc.

4th one:

Roaming profiles! Such a fantastic idea for people to download all their settings when they log in, until they go to a site which consists a shed in a field with a couple of PCs on it. This is hanging off a single channel ISDN and when windows tries to download their 1.6 gig PST file and the DVD image on their desktop it may mean that they took hours and hours to eventually log in.

I have some nice screenshots to add here:

Someone in the press office was feeling particularly poetic. It certainly brightened my day :)

The email filter worked on fleshtones so it liked blocking ID card mugshots and baby pictures as well as actual porn. We rarely got requests to release the porn but when we did we then had to explain to the user that we were not releasing "bangbox.jpg" despite the user purchasing 60k's worth of hardware from the sender, and that it certainly wasn't something work safe. He only conceided when we explained what it was a picture of...

I would have thought a PA should know how to open a picture.

The serious bit: The most harrowing day I had at work was when I was working for the company that owns Powerlink. This is the company that provides electricity to the London Underground and sends sparkies into the tunnels to keep things working during the small hours. I arrive for the early shift after being pulled over by the plod thanks to an admin error by my insurance company. I should have taken that as a sign that it was not going to be a good day. I am on a call when suddenly things start going batshit. "Something's happened! We're being told a power cable exploded. Is the (whatever that was a quick fix) going yet? I need to find out what's going on."

It turns out it wasn't a power cable; it was the first of the 7/7 bombs going off.

We did what we could to keep that branch of the company's stuff running as best we could for the rest of the day. I later worked for them directly and heard the stories of that day from the tube sparkies first hand. At least i'll know the answer when I get people asking "Where were you?"
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 20:35, 2 replies)
Fucking roaming profiles and huge files on the desktop
Yup, that's annoying where I last worked too. The teachers stored most of their stuff on the desktop, as it didn't count in their home drive quota.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 22:20, closed)
We used to have a competition to find the PC with the highest uptime - I managed to find one that hadn't been booted in over 1000 hours. All the user insisted they had been told NEVER to reboot their PC.
(, Tue 29 Sep 2009, 6:16, closed)

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