Calling all System Administrators!!

We are excited for SysAdmin Day on July 28th! To celebrate, we are compiling the best SysAdmin stories from our community. We would love the opportunity to showcase your heroic tales of crazy problems you solved to keep the tech world going in our upcoming blog piece.  

Comment below or message us before Friday July 21st at 12pm PST to have your story included.


by:Andrew Wright
Had a user complain that their PC just stopped working.  Checked the usual suspects like power lead & plug fuse.  Opened up the case to find a fried mouse!
LVL 37


by:Andrew Leniart
I once had a call from a receptionist of a small accounting firm I looked after, complaining that their Internet stopped working. After taking almost 5 minutes to get her to open a command prompt and type "ping" , I went the next step and talked her through doing the following;

  1. Make sure the modem was on (they kept it and their server under her desk of all places, where it was easy to accidentally kick out the plugs) - Yep, it's on!
  2. Reboot the modem by turning it off, waiting 30 seconds and turning it back on - Nope, that didn't help!
  3. Verifying which lights on the modem were on with her - Yes, all the lights that should be on are on!

After about 10 more minutes on the phone, she begged I visit their office and get the problem fixed because "the boss was getting cranky".. No problem says I, so I jumped in my car and drove the 20 minutes or so to their suites.  Upon arriving at their suites, I headed straight for her desk and jumped underneath to investigate while she trotted off to make me a nice hot cuppa.

Doing my best to ignore the smell of feet and pushing aside all the spare shoes cluttering the space under her desk, what did I find? The power plug for the modem had been kicked out of course! I plugged it back in, accepted the praise about what an IT genius I was, finished drinking my cuppa and headed back to my own office.

Upon returning, I raised the following invoice.

  • Emergency call out to repair Internet connection.  Resolved by plugging modem back into power point.

I was expecting the owner to query me on that bill, but it got paid without a single complaint. Go figure :)

Yes, this is a true story!
LVL 33


by:Brian B
There are also lots of admin stories here:
LVL 22

Author Comment

by:Experts Exchange
Thanks! We are looking for stories from within the EE community!


by:Brian Matis
Not sure if this really counts, because I wasn't the SysAdmin in this scenario; instead, I was the problematic user! But here goes: back when I was a student at CalPoly, we had access to the school's UNIX system for things like our email. I had taken the C and UNIX class, so I knew my way around the command line enough to do more than just use PINE to check my email. I also really liked the SETI @ Home project, so I got the UNIX version of the client and installed it on my account on the school's system and would just let it run.

I think maybe I had it going for a month and I have no idea what sort of resources it was taking up. I imagine it wasn't really all that bad, but eventually, a SysAdmin did shut it down and told me not to do that again...

I imagine college SysAdmins have to deal with a lot of shenanigans like that! :-D

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