Troubleshooting Bloopers or Chuckles

Troubleshooting can be most perplexing.  Sometimes we talk to ourselves, and embark on bizarre journeys in these efforts.  I've done some bizarre things in 'trying' to fix problems through the years only to create more chaos.  Along the way I've cried, chuckled and learned.  

I'd love to see COMMENTS about some other bloopers that made you chuckle, and will award the best chuckle-inducer with points.  Sometimes we just need to sit back and laugh at ourselves, for example:

When first upgrading from old Windows to 95, wanted to be neat and tidy, moved all my INF files to the INF subfolder; NOT WISE, moved all my DLLs into the system folder (NOT WISE), and so on.  What's yours?
LVL 27
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

BudVVeezerCommented:
Aside from the standard "cofee holder CDROM"...I think my best one was a woman who was having troubles with her modem.  I asked her to check to see if the modem was plugged into the phone jack, so she set her phone down and roughly 5 minutes later she gets back on the phone and asks me "Is the phone line the grey cord or the swirly one?"  LOL.  Not such a bright cookie.  So I had her get a colleague on the phone.  That person told me there was no modem.  Next coworker said yeah, there's a modem, external, with the power shut off.  ;-P

~Aaron
0
mark2150Commented:
These are true stories from years of working on computer help desks. The names have been changed to protect the silly, but these are first hand accounts.
....
     I was working in the store one day when a customer comes in with a flat, brown, thin, plastic "doughnut" and, handling it gingerly by the edges procedes to tell me how he couldn't get his boot disk to work! Choking back the laughter I ran back into the shop area and out of sight before doubling over. When he'd read the instruction "Remove diskette from outer protective jacket" he'd cut the "black" off the 5-1/4" disk!
     After regaining my composure, I returned to the front of the store with a replacement disk and patiently explained how the instruction meant to remove the diskette from the dust sleeve thusly and I pulled the diskette out with a florish. He left, suitably mollified, muttering something about how he'd thought it gave him one hell of a fight...
....
     Back in the dark days before PC's (1980!) I was the VP of service at a computer repair company. One of our customers was the local college's computer science department. We'd been called in to work on some apple ]['s. The apple ]['s have the power switch located on the rear apron. All the systems were on power strips but we hit the power switches on the rear for safety's sake. We worked on five or six systems that night and went home with the satisfaction of a job well done.
     The next morning when I got to the office the phone was ringing off the hook and there was a stack of messages from the dean of the computer science department and he was *HOT*! The secretary handed me the phone and he was cussin' and fussin' and carrying on about how we'd done a lousy job and *NONE* of the machines we'd worked on would do *ANYTHING*. I listened to him patiently and let him run out of steam. When I could finally get a word in I asked "Did you turn them ON in the rear?" There was a long silence. Finally he said "I'll get back to you." - he never did.
....
     Was working on the phone and watching the client work via PC Anywhere. Telling the user "Now cursor to your left. No! your OTHER left!"
....
     Was working with a customer over the phone and was telling them to type DIR *.*. For about 45 minutes we're just not getting the right answers. Finally I tell him to go slow and I say type "DIR", I hear click-click-click. Then I say ok, now type "*.*", and I hear clickity-clickity-clack and I said "What did you type?" and he says "exactly what you said", "s-t-a-r d-o-t s-t-a-r"...
....
     I had a client call me in because every time his spell checker got to words beginning with 'H', it would die. I looked at his floppy disk and noticed a cigarette burn hole completely thru the jacket and diskette...
....
     Had a customer that kept needing replacement "key" diskettes. After the fourth or fifth replacement I asked to see where they kept the disk when it wasn't in use. The secretary pointed proudly to the side of the filing cabinet where the disk was held with a magnet...
....
     Was working on a factory floor automation project back in '78 when I was on the corporate R&D staff at Northrop. We had this one 'engineer' from the Aircraft Division that was working on an overhead monorail computerized motor controller design and we were on the CC: list to check his work. He'd designed the motor control circuit to use two bits, one for motor FORWARD, one for motor REVERSE. I asked him what would happen if both bits were asserted at the SAME TIME? He assured me that the software would "never" let that happen. I shrugged it off as he seemed ready to argue the point endlessly.
     Several weeks go by and it's time for the first "full power" demonstration. One of the VIP's in attendence was the head of Aircraft division, a man with 20,000 people working for him. The engineer plugged his little diagnostic ROM into the system and booted the controller up. We had a "twinkle board" that was a 4'x4' board covered with LED's showing the state's of all the inputs and outputs to the system. The engineers diagnostic cleared all the outputs to zero, making the board go black. Then it waited a couple of seconds and went to the next part of the diagnostic where it turned on the outputs, one at a time. We watched the LEDs coming on the twinkle board one at a time and out on the shop floor various items came on in sync with the LED's. Finally the diagnostic reaches the Motor Forward and Motor Reverse LED's and turns them *BOTH* on. Over on the other side of the plant the overhead monorail control box explodes in a shower of sparks as the system threw a dead short across a 480V, 3 phase power line! A couple of seconds later, that entire end of the aircraft manufacturing plant went dark as the breakers tripped out. You could hear the sounds of machinery grinding to a halt all over the plant - ruining the pieces that were "in process" at the time. I could hear the VP of aircraft saying to himself as much as anyone - "Very imressive". We *NEVER* saw that engineer again...
....
     Was working in NETOPS (Network Operations) and we picked up a new guy who's major skill was ticking people off and blowing smoke about how smart he was. He'd gone into my system and swapped the COM ports around on me as a practical joke. Now, gentle readers, you should be able to tell by now that *I* am not the person to get into a practical joke contest with! Well, as they say, paybacks are hell. I'd slit his lan cable open and cut *one* of the wires (the green one, if you must know) This caused his network connection not to work, but the little green "link" light was still on... It took him three days to find *that* one...
....
     Got a service call from a customer in Clearwater (I was living 130 miles away in Sanford at the time). Error message was "Drive not ready". I told them, "Close the disk drive door". They assured me that they had and that it was a critical error and that I should come out immediately. I hopped in the truck and headed out. 2-1/2 hours later I walked in, closed the disk drive door, the system came up and I wrote out a bill for 6 hours, 5 hrs travel & 1 hour (minimum) onsite. They never did pay the bill...
....
Used to sell my image processing systems to the cops. I was giving the demo in front of "Cap'n Sam Eferd" - the stereotype of a redneck southern warden in the flesh - when I got to the point where someone asked "What do we do if it breaks?" Before I could launch into my reply, "Cap'n" piped up and in a thick southern drawl said "I'll tell yew whut we'll do. I'll call down to Sheriff, Vogle is it?" (namimg my local sheriff at home) "and we'll tell him that we have an outstanding warrant for yer arrest, and that he is to transport YEW and Yer toolkit IMMEDIATELY. Then yew'r gonna fix IT and we'll drop the charges and give yew a bus tiket home." The really scary part is that I could tell that he wasn't joking!
....
     Had a real PITA user on the LAN. Was forever installing bootleg apps and then calling the desk for help when his machine would stop working. We were also getting complaints from this users co-workers that he left his speaker volume on high all the time. The desk escalated it to me and asked if there was *anything* we could do to give this user a dose of fun. You know that if you go to YAHOO.COM and put in "Fart" and ".WAV" it will return like 20,000 hits? Well we downloaded some, shall we say "juicy" sound effects and patched his  WIN.INI file from the safety of the LAN. The next morning several of the help desk staff and techs received an email from the "LAN Phantom" suggesting that they might want to be in the area when this particular user showed up. Well, when he started his system, the sound effects were a *RIOT*. One sound in particular (when he got mail) was particularly... um... er... 'moist'? It ran for almost 30 seconds and made you want to take a shower...
....
     Same user - next day. He comes in and boots his system. The screen clears and a message appears...

     ******************************
     * WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! *
     ******************************
     Virus detected on C: drive!
     Please wait, reformatting...

     and his disk LED comes on *hard* for several minutes. In a blind panic, he calls the help desk: "What should I do?!" he cries. "Turn it off" the desk replies. After several minutes he turns his system back on and it comes up smooth as silk. For you old DOS hackers out there the command:

DIR C:\*.* /S /-P >> NUL

repeated several times will busy up a hard drive for several minutes...

M
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
I laughed until tears flowed, thanks for the great chuckles.  WOW, you could get lots of $s, I bet, submitting some of your experiential stuff to magazines or the like.  

I'll leave open for a few days, then decide and close.  Thanks a bunch for sharing these hilarious events.
0
The Ultimate Tool Kit for Technolgy Solution Provi

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy for valuable how-to assets including sample agreements, checklists, flowcharts, and more!

mark2150Commented:
I lifted 'em off the JOKES section of my web page. Drop by and say "Hi" in the guestbook. www.cyberchute.com/rvbus/madmark.

The best thing about the storeys is that they're all *true*.

I'll give you an unrelated one.

My son is away at school and has a "local" pager. He told his ma that she couldn't page him since she was long distance...

M
0
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
Very funny stuff, thanks.  

Since I've just lost all access to an internal SCSI HD, since it shared a SCSI ID with external scanner, am bummed.  Needless to say, needed a laugh. Checked your link/cannot connect; perhaps server down?
0
mark2150Commented:
Was up earlier today. Am hosted by a buddy of mine. Dave often does maint on saturdays. It'll be back. He doesn't charge me and I'm taking over 100Mb of server space so I can't complain.

M
0
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
Well, befits the day, so to speak; at any rate, here's the block to accessing your site at 12:32PM PST.

Take care, keep smiling,

Asta




The page cannot be found
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please try the following:

If you typed the page address in the Address bar, make sure that it is spelled correctly.

Open the www.cyberchute.com home page, and then look for links to the information you want.
Click the  Back button to try another link.
Click  Search to look for information on the Internet.



HTTP 404 - File not found
Internet Explorer
 
0
mark2150Commented:
Just went there. Everything is fine. You can't link down from www.cyberchute.com. You have to give my full address:

www.cyberchute.com/rvbus/madmark

It's working just fine, I checked it and refreshed w/o error or extra delay.

M
0
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
Found it, neat.  

Timing's everything.  

Bookmarked to check when I can breathe, think I was counter hit 3627 or the like....  voting?

Take care,
Asta
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Hardware

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.