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Happy System Adminstrator Appreciation Day!

Created: 31 Jul 2009 • Updated: 03 Aug 2009 • 35 comments
Kimberley's picture
+9 9 Votes
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Wishing you all a Happy Sys Admin Day from the Symantec Connect community team! And to not be too rigid, Happy Storage Admin, Server Admin, and DBA Day, too! July 31, 2009 marks the 10th Annual System Administrator Appreciation Day. We thought that was about the best celebration we could imagine, given that this is pretty much all we talk about day and night on the Symantec Connect site. And of course, we think it's worth more than a day--so we're giving you the whole weekend.

So we thought that in appreciation for all the last-minute, late-night projects that you've survived in the past year,  we'd toss out some reward points for some good stories. Tell us about your biggest meltdown, how you saved the day on a project, or send us a photo of your wildest wiring job in the comments below. We'll give 3 of you a passle of extra reward points (probably even enough for a thinkgeek gift certificate or other glamorous Symantec Connect reward item), based on nothing other than your story/photo made us laugh out loud, everyone else voted that you made them laugh out loud, or we just felt sorry that you had such a tough project and want to do something nice for you. Completely subjective :)

So send us your story before Monday and remember to tell your boss that today is INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM AMINISTRATOR APPRECIATION DAY and maybe you'll even get a free lunch from the boss, too. Or here's a list of gift suggestions from the official SysAdminDay site, which you could conveniently forward to them.

And a special thanks to the folks behind the scenes here at our Symantec Connect site, who keep this beast well fed and tended.

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ohzone - CherylPeterson's picture

ohzone claps wildly for all of you

Endpoint Management,
Endpoint Virtualization
Managing Mobility
Community Manager
Need Altiris help? IRC chat #Altiris

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Randall Newnham's picture


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Pascal KOTTE's picture

A funny true Sys-Network-Admin story? I got a good one (but basic network knowledge required to understand this story)
A few, few years before...
8h00 in the morning, call in the train while going to work, a tuesday morning because monday was holiday (is is important to notice that):

  • "Pascal? Nobodies can work this morning, the network is down. Why the new network you were installing, with dual routers & dual backbone, is not working any more?"
  • Me: "Don't know why, I see you are calling me from the newest IPphone I install for you. They are sharing the same Ethernet plug the PC, so the network is not so bad working... What's wrong?"
  • "All 200 PCs the company cannot connect anymore any fileshare"
  • Me: "have you check the file server?"
  • "Yes, it seems ok. all the servers are working well"
  • Me: "From another server on the other computer room, can you access those fileshares?"
  • "We will try, I call you back"
  • Me: "OK, I will be there in less an hour for now".

8h30: The 1st Murphy - A well intentioned actor: don't know what he can do, but absolute need to do something.

  • "Pascal: Are you a long way from here? I call you from the Urgency phone you ask us to install in the computer room. Because now, all the IPphones the company are also not working any more :-("
  • Me: "What's happen? I ask for you to check the network from a 2nd server?"
  • "Yes, it was ok. So, we switch off the 1st Main Switch/Router, and switch on: To reset the network"
  • Me: "Why? Routing was working as IPhones was ok, and you were just verify from another server. After doing this: the IPphones was down?"
  • "No, they were still working, they were all just displaying a short reconnecting message, but the PCs were not better working. So we go the 2nd Main swith/router in the 2nd computer room. It is after we switch off/on this 2nd one, the IPphones stop working."
  • Me: "??? After down the 1st router, IPphone reconnect to the second IPcentral phone, redoudancy was working. But why not any more after reboot the 2nd... Let me arriving"

9h00: The true cause with the 2nd + 3rd Murphy

  • The Sysadmin was arriving before me and identify the server problem part: He does an ipconfig from the 1st PC, and see the IP was "lease expired!" ! Same on the 2nd PC. (Why do I not ask for this before, stupid I was, I must say :)
  • Going to the DHCP server, the service is stopped: Oops, for migrating subnet IP, we reduce the DHCP lease time to 3 days, and forgot to back 1 week.
  • Normally, 3 days is OK to survive a weekend, except a 3 days longest weekend (we got once a year. why DHCP bugs Friday night this 3 days weekend?)
  • He restart the service and DHCP back, all should be OK, but now, the network was really dead. Nothing can commnunicate anything, except, on the same Ethernet switch...

9h30: The 4th Murphy identified

  • I was arriving, and we clarify what's wrong the network part:The routers was having a "buggy" configuration file: when restarted, the VLAN table was emptied, so the network was not able to reload after a reboot, all the same perfect working from a long number of days, as never rebooted before this .
  • During the 1st router reboot, all VLAN was vanishing, but good test: the redoudancy was working, and all the network was working using the 2nd router.
  • As long as we do not reboot this 2nd router, of course... (no comment)

10h30: 3 hours interruption only... To be honnest, we were good to recover this situation (not so good to avoid this happen)

  • Finding a serial cable, we finish to rebuild manually the VLAN table & reactive all routing tables. Network is back.

Welcome Sys+Net-admin world: Where it is exactly like real life:
" Before making something, or saying something, try thinking a little just before...
If not able to do that, just think after how to avoid same error again... "

Now, When I change anything on any system:

  1. I reboot this one before making any change; just to verify there are no waiting problem to come, you will think your own next change will be the cause...
  2. I reboot after my change; just to verify it will not gives a problem in a near or longest future, without thinking my "old" change will be the cause...

Enjoy changing configurations, just avoid doing this the Sys Admin Day ;-)

And install a true full CMDB solution like Altiris (+VCM), to automatically inventory all your network & systems configurations, and record all your changes ;-)

~Pascal @ Do you speak French? Et utilisez Altiris: venez nous rejoindre sur le GUASF

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J.H Is gone's picture

I have been marking this day for 10 years.  We had cake and cookies today!

I don't have to know how to spell....I work on Unix.
NetBackup 7.0.1 - AIX & Windows

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J.H Is gone's picture

True story - from the late 80's

Afternoon operator is waiting for the Night operator.
Night operator shows up, but he looks a little strange, perhaps OUI (operating under the influence).
So the Afternoon operator tells him he does not look to good and should go home and get some rest, she will stay and finish the night work.

So night operator leaves.  Afternoon operator continues to work.

She gets a phone call in the computer room from the night operator.  He asks her how things are going.  She can tell he is at a bar!
Tells him things are OK, goodbye.

She gets another phone call, again he asks are things are going, and the he sings the Star Spangled Banner over the phone to her. 
She says goodbye.
She calls security and tells them that she is not going to answer the phone, and if the night operator calls just say you cannot find her.

He does call.
He then shows up at the building..
Security calls her and says he is in the vestibule.
She tells them he is drunk send him home.
She finished out the night and goes home.

Next night.

Afternoon operator is waiting for the Night operator.
He shows up, is in better shape but very quite.
She does the turn over to him and she leaves.

About 3 am security is making the rounds and hears noise from the computer room.
He looks in the window and sees:

(Remember this is the 80's - think main frames)
The night operator has opened up the hard drive drawers of the removable disk packs and has BENT UP THE PLATTERS!.
He has managed to pull one of the drawers out of the cabinet.
These were large systems and the keyboard was built into the top of the main cabinet.
There are two systems in the room.
He has smashed both keyboards they are completely cracked in half.
He has pushed the monitor soff on to the floor (the skins broke but the tubes did not)
He has open the front panel of both systems and kick them in, bending dip switches and pushing the cassette drive the system boots with into the interior of the system.
He has knocked over both of the green-bar printers.

Security is calling the front desk asking for help, he has no pepper spray or club.

Operator comes out of the computer room with scissors, sees the security guard and attacks.


The hardware system tech on call is doing a PM at some other company that night.
Gets a call from the support call center.  Is told that that they got a call and don't know if it is a joke.
They say some one from my company called in and said that the operator just destroyed the computer room and they need on-site help now.
HW tech asks who made the call.  Is told it was the MIS directory.
HW tech says it cannot be a joke.

So he finishes up the the PM as fast as he can and goes to the company in trouble.
Drives up and see police cars and an ambulance.
Manges to get approval to go into the building and sees blood on the floor (remember those scissors the operator had - both he and the security guard got cut, both survived).  So the HW tech is expecting to see the body of the afternoon operator on the floor, and is relieved when he does not.

both systems were destroyed.
The area outside the computer room was cleared of all desks, ( people relocated) the damaged equipment set outside and replacements ordered.
Corporate office had a CPU of the same kind that was used for testing.
That was brought over the next afternoon.
Working parts from the 3 systems were put together and rebuilt 1 system, backup copies of the disk packs were put in and backups to tapes were restored to get the most recent version of everything they had.  One system was up and running in 36 hours.
The second system took 5 days to get parts in from across the country and rebuilt.


And the punch line to the TRUE story.

The next day the night operator calls the director from jail asking him to bail him out or he won't be able to show up for work that night.

This is true, been there seen that, at times wished I could do that-but know better.
(this is NOT the company I currently work for)

I don't have to know how to spell....I work on Unix.
NetBackup 7.0.1 - AIX & Windows

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marvs_022's picture

Hello! Congratulations to you guys...........

Keep it up!!!
Let it keep BURNING!!

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Ajit Jha's picture

Achha laga janakar.. Mubarak ho!!!!!!!!!


Ajit Jha

Technical Consultant


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sansri's picture

hi ,
Congratulation to all sys admins


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Bijay.Swain's picture

Hi All

A nice little story about my friend who is a system engr. in a MNC IT company .
Once my friend got a call from their company client which is an insurance company, that one of their systems is having some problem in the monitor. so he went their to see what exactly the problem is and he took all the tools to repair the monitor(I must say that my friend is very good in repairing monitors and power supply). on reaching there the customer showed him a monitor whose screen was up side down . he knew that this is not a hadware problem so he tried every settings he new but failed. Unfortunately he forgot his phone to take with him so that he could have contacted someone to guide him . the user was unable to work on that machine as it was difficult to read anything on the screen. So look what he did instead of using ctrl+alt+arrow key, he just removed the base of the monitor and turned the monitor upside down so eventually the visible screen became readable. and he closed the call/case.

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Vikram Kumar-SAV to SEP's picture

Happy Sys/Sec Admin  day to everybody.....including me :) 

Vikram Kumar

Symantec Consultant

The most helpful part of entire Symantec connect is the Search use it.

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Nel Ramos's picture

Thanks for the promoters of this special day!!!
Congratulations all...

Nel Ramos

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Srini_Ris's picture

This was one of the tiring and never ending issue that I got myself tangled into in my early days of the career.

I know its been almost  7 years back, when I was doing the project implementation for my organization. I had the discovery application running monitoing more than 1500+ devices. I was about to leave from the work to home as it was late... I was just doing a random check if the server was fine before leaving. To my surprise I could see some of the deamons were in stopped state.

I thought I was lucky enough to identify in right time and I started doing the analysing part, I had to really pull all the vendors and the product vendor to be onsite as the clock was ticking away and was almost 4 hours of my personal efforts going in vain

Then I had run the log analyser and others log reading tools run and we started debugging the issues. I had the product engineering group with me trying to help me to come out of the situation. I know I had tough time as the deamon was malfunctioning and was coming down intermittently and we had to fix that issues becasue of the criticality of the server.

I know it was almost me in 24 hours and still the issue was prolonging, till the backend engieering group was coming out of the solution, i had got a chance of laying down on chair with starring at the celing with no sleep in eyes, wondering the what is the issue, why is this misbehaviour .. Why...

Every time I think various reasons but everytime I had to really get a negative response.

After almost 30+ hours, management was in no mood to listen to us and wereing out of patience because of the prolong issue and were forcing us for the re-installation of the product to see if the problem is resolved, but myself and other vendors supporting also went to drawing board saying if we get the root cause of the problem we would fix the issues in a while types.. and its just that thread we need to catch...

Finally I know it was breath taking when we got see we had 600+ spwan process that were running and the computing was unable to handle those many process and some how the spwan process was not able to gracefully exit , thus leading to all the zombie process to be there and eating up the CPU and memory block.

The moment this was the output of the log analysis, had a developement team to come out with the online hotfix and the patch was released and deployed on to the application to get a fix. This was the first time I was seeing hotfix getting created and deployed.

In the later versoin of the product this fix was released as part of the bundle product and I had always cherish this moment in my life, now that almost its been more than 8+ years, that incident is so fresh in my eyes... I know my boss patting me and mails floating around for the efforts put in to get out of the situation, a team efforts of system administrators,vendor project manager, product developement group, and the list would go on... but last it was indeed a true team spirit that got the system up and running in non-hurdle state was those 36 hours...Happy System Administrator Appreciation Day


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ianatkin's picture

I was on holiday for sysadmin day. The timeliest vacation I have ever taken as it turned out. A UPS engineer came to do some maintenance on the power feeds in our main server building and cocked up ever so slightly resulting in a full power outage. When power was eventually restored, a lot of systems didn't come back up.....

I was very happy in the knowledge I didn't have to care. Until today that is.....

Ian Atkin, IT Services, Oxford University, UK

Connect Etiquette: "Mark as Solution" those posts which assist you most in resolving your problem, and give a thumbs up to useful articles and downloads

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VBScab's picture

Back in the days of Windows/386 and 3Com Lan Manager v1.0, a contract worker was persistent in installing games on his PC, in spite of having them removed several times. As I was just beginning to play with VB at about the same time, I concoted a little surprise for him. I built a replacement for SOL.EXE and during a weekend's overtime, dropped it on his machine. What fun we had min-morning on Moday when he began what he thought would be yet another couple of hours of Solitaire, but was instead presented with the message:

       [made-up virus name] now active.
       Found SunAccount data...deleting...please wait...

The cruel twist was that I added an "OK" button and a "Cancel" button. Needless to say, he took the first opportunity to click "Cancel", only to see:

    Did you *really* think that would work?
    Removing SunAccount...please wait...

He moved with some speed toward the IT manager's office, I can tell you.

Don't know why 'x' happened? Want to know why 'y' happened? Use ProcMon and it will tell you.
Think about using before posting.

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P_K_'s picture

Tales of tech support

And people think we make this stuff up.....
A woman called the printing help desk with a problem with her printer. The tech asked her if she was "running it under Windows." The woman then responded, "No, my desk is next to the door. But that is a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window, and his is working fine."
Tech Support: "OK Bob, let's press the control and escape keys at the same time. That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now type the letter 'P' to bring up the Program Manager."
Customer: "I don't have a 'P'."
Tech Support: "On your keyboard, Bob."
Customer: "What do you mean?"
Tech Support: "'P' on your keyboard, Bob."
Customer: "I'm not going to do that!"
Overheard in a computer shop:
Customer: "I'd like a mouse mat, please."
Salesperson: "Certainly sir, we've got a large variety."
Customer: "But will they be compatible with my computer?"
I once received a fax with a note on the bottom to fax the document back to the sender when I was finished with it, because he needed to keep it.
Customer: "Can you copy the Internet for me on this diskette?"
Some people pay for their online services with checks made payable to "The Internet."
Customer: "So that'll get me connected to the Internet, right?"
Tech Support: "Yeah."
Customer: "And that's the latest version of the Internet, right?"
Tech Support: "Uhh...uh...uh...yeah."
Tech Support: "All double-click on the File Manager icon."
Customer: "That's why I hate this Windows -- because of the icons -- I'm a Protestant, and I don't believe in icons."
Tech Support: "Well, that's just an industry term sir. I don't believe it was meant to --"
Customer: "I don't care about any 'Industry Terms'. I don't believe in icons."
Tech Support: "Well...why don't you click on the 'little picture' of a file 'little picture' OK?"
Customer: [click]
Customer: "My computer crashed!"
Tech Support: "It crashed?"
Customer: "Yeah, it won't let me play my game."
Tech Support: "All right, hit Control-Alt-Delete to reboot."
Customer: "No, it didn't crash -- it crashed."
Tech Support: "Huh?"
Customer: "I crashed my game. That's what I said before. I crashed my spaceship and now it doesn't work."
Tech Support: "Click on 'File,' then 'New Game.'"
Customer: [pause] "Wow! How'd you learn how to do that?"

MCT MCSE-2012 Symantec Technical Specialist (SCTS)

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Sheena K.'s picture
These were definitely ID10T errors. Great for a much needed laugh especially after a long week. Thanks for posting!
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OneManITShop's picture

it was years back on my first week as a new tech support for a small bank
the back office manager call my cell early morning to tell me about this problem on her monitor. she can't see anything. it is black
I start asking the questions:
do you see the monitor's power light? is the PC on? check the lights on the box
the answer is NO
what about the PC next to you, do you see lights?
NO again...
well, do you have light in the room, look above your head!
surprisingly the answer was... NO!!!

I told her to call the building management and ask for an electrician. he said the main crkt was down
when I got there I found the problem: she spilled her coffee in the gap between 2 tables where the power cords connected to an extension.
she didn't think it was relevant to the problem :D

read my blog at

read my blog at

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J.H Is gone's picture

The set up:
I was an operator
Manager Retired
System manager became Manager
I became System Manger
She quit
I became lead System Manger - with a part time Manager
I talk them into sending me to class to learn more about a system that I did not architect


Whats wrong:

I am out of town at class all week. 
Fly home Friday night after class and want to check the system before going to bed.
This is in the late1980's.
I use my dial up modem, and it answers, but I get no response from the system, no sign on screen.
So I drive 1 hour across town to look at the system -

Time: 1 am

I go in and none of the terminals in the computer room respond.
This is an HP 3000 classic - so I go look at the Disk packs. 
The system drives are the 'washing machine' removable packs.
I have no lights - so the drive is down and I cannot get it back up.


Call for help:

I call my part time manager and get permission to call for support - This is the 4Th of July on Saturday so it will be double the cost.
Field tech arrives and looks at it and orders a part - goes and gets it - comes back - puts it in - it does not work.
Field tech orders another part - goes and gets it - comes back - puts it in - it does not work - says the system drive must be bad do I have a copy.
Yes, put the copy pack in the 'washing machine' - still does not come up.
Field tech orders a small wire - goes and gets it - comes back - puts it in - the drive comes up - but cannot read my system disk.

The heads had crashed the system disk - and the copy of the system disk he had me put in. 
So now I have NO system disk.

Big issue:

I now have no system as no system disk and all other software was installed on the same volume group.

(for windows people like of all your software on the C drive - and all other drives need the c)
(for UNIX people all drives are part of rootvg)

Time: 9 am on Saturday

A little luck:

The system did not crash until AFTER all nightly backups were finished by the afternoon operator. 
They go home when all is finished.
Part of the Friday night procedures is to make two SLT's (system load tapes) .
Now I am new to this kind of stuff and have never used an SLT to remake the system before.
So I call HP for support and they walk me through the process.

I now have my system disk back, by putting in a Scratch pack and using the SLT to reload.

Now I just need to reload the rest of the system.

But we used a third part backup software to backup with called RoadRunner. And that software is NOT on the system.

Some sys admin experience came in handy as whenever we upgraded the RoadRunner software we would backup that directory to its own tape using SYSTEM COMMANDS and not the software.

So I got my backup tape and put it on disk - so now I can restore the rest of the system.

Time: 1 pm Saturday

Boy am I sleepy!

In the 1980's we were still using reel to reel tapes at 1600 bpi!
My backups are on 36 tapes and I only have 2 drives.

So I put the two tapes up - start the restore - and sitting in the freezing computer room - try to nap.
When a tape rewinds it makes a whirrrrrrrrrrring noise and I open my eyes and go change tapes.

And every body knows that restores take longer the backups.

Time: 8 pm Saturday


Time to catch up.

So now I am back to where we were Friday night after backups and it is time to get the job scheduler going.

So I am sitting there playing with priorities getting the short jobs to finish pushing the jobs that have to finish before other jobs can run.

I Finally get to the point there are only future jobs in the scheduler and I can now got home.

Time 2 am Sunday.


As Saturday was the 4Th of July nobody had come to work that weekend and nobody new that we had lost the entire system.

Years later when that system was replaced with an IBM RS6000 UNIX system - and I was the system architect - the only thing in / is the O.S..   All other file systems were on different volume groups.

I don't have to know how to spell....I work on Unix.
NetBackup 7.0.1 - AIX & Windows

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Mudit Kumar's picture

A helicopter was flying around above Seattle yesterday when an electrical malfunction disabled all of aircraft's electronic navigation and communication equipment.

Due to the clouds and haze the pilot could not determine his position or course to steer to the airport.
The pilot saw a tall building, flew toward it, circled, drew a handwritted sign and held it in the helicopter's window.The sign said 'WHERE AM I'? in large letters.

People in the tall building quickly responded to the aircraft, drew a largesign an held it in a building window. The sign said, 'YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER'.The pilot smiled, waved, looked at his map and determined the course to steerto SEATAC ( Seattle/Tacoma) airport and landed safely.

After they were on the ground, the co-pilot asked the pilot how the 'YOU AREIN A HELICOPTER' sign helped determine their position. The pilot responded, 'I knew that had to be the Microsoft building because they gave me atechnically correct but completely useless answer'.

Thanks & Regards,
Mudit Kumar

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Rick Brown's picture

Admining for a finacial institution in Florida, I get an emergency call "We cannot access any of our data" - I drive over to their location during my lunch break only to find their external storage unplugged from the electrical outlet. Amazing .  . .

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Screenbert's picture

This is a long story and it is already Monday so I'll make it as short as possible.

July 22nd 2:00 PM - Take 1st of 3 flights to Florianopolis Brazil via Dallas and Sao Paulo for site conversion.
July 22nd 10:00 PM - 2nd Flight is 2.5 hours late departing
July 23rd 11:00 AM - Missed Connecting flight to Florianoplis because of first delay, wait 6 hours for next flight.
July 24th 8:00 AM - On-Site begin IP address conversion.
July 25th 2:00 AM - After 18 hours it is time for sleep.
July 26th 10:00 AM - Back to work for another 10 hours.
July 26th 5:00 PM - Crawl into hole-filled attic of manufacturing plant to reconfigure switch.
July 26th 5:10 PM - Discover their is a light for the attic.
July 27th 8:00 AM - Discover how much a language barrier we really do have.
July 27th 9:00 AM - Finally able to understand 30 computers in another office have no network connectivity
July 28th 5:00 PM - Finally replace defective switch totally unrelated to conversion.
July 29th 8:00 AM - Begin reimaging computers with rdeploy
July 29th 8:30 AM - Leave remainder of team to finish reimaging and begin what turns into a 36 hour trip home.
July 29th 10:00 AM - 11 hour Layover in Sao Paulo
July 30th 7:00 AM - Flight diverted to Austin to refuel due to bad weather in Dallas
July 30th 9:00 AM - Refueled and head to San Antonio instead of Dallas due to bad weather
July 30th 10:00 AM - Ready to land in San Antonio and flight sent back to Dallas due to better weather
July 30th 12:00 PM - Discover 1st flight to home airport canceled.
July 30th 12:05 PM - Discover I was rebooked on 2nd flight, but missed it due to weather problems
July 30th 12:10 PM - On standby for next flight
July 30th 3:25 PM - Flight delayed two hours
July 30th 6:00 PM - Arrive home


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P_K_'s picture

                                                           imagebrowser image

imagebrowser image

MCT MCSE-2012 Symantec Technical Specialist (SCTS)

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Bijay.Swain's picture

Once a customer called me on my cell and told me that his pc is not running and hangs as soon as he power on the pc.

ME--- does the windows screen appears and hangs

customer- No its a black & white screen

Me-   is there any error message appears

customer - yes there is a message that says
" Press Any Key to Continue"             but problem is I can't find "Any" Key on my keyboard.


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JoeBolster's picture

I was doing phone support for a garbage company back in the 90's. I got a call that their AS400 was down. So I go thru the speal of checking the cables and doing basic trouble shooting etc. With no luck I figured there may be a problem with the patch panel cables. So I asked if everything was plugged in and of course..oh yes it is. So then I asked the person to trace the cable back to the patch panel..there was hesitation and then I was asked If i can hold because they had to get a pencil and paper to trace the cable...I broke out in tears and this caller was put on speaker phone for the remainder of the call. To funny.

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Kedar Mohile's picture

Happy Sys Admin day to ALL :-)

Thanks :-)

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Mudit Kumar's picture

Security experts and federal government authorities warn that offspring of the dangerous e-mail virus are now on the loose. As a public service, we present the following list of "I Love You" variations and how to recognize them:

- The "I Love You, But I'm Shy" virus never actually invades your computer but collects data about it worshipfully from afar.

- The "Unrequited Love" virus causes your computer to be so obsessed with a virus-a virus that it can never have-that it can no longer function.

- The "Love The One You're With" virus hangs around your computer, but the whole thing is just temporary until it can find the computer that it really wants to invade.

- The "Can't We Just Be Friends" virus makes your computer think it's interested in invading. Then, just when your computer is getting excited about the invasion, it breaks off the connection with your computer, dashing its hard drive against the rocks.

- The "One Night Stand" virus invades your computer, turns its hard drive upside down, then disappears after promising to come back sometime. But it leaves a twenty in your online bank account.

- The "Happily Married" virus invades only one computer and stays with it for life.

- The "Unhappily Married" virus spends a long time negotiating with a computer, finally invades it, and then strays to other computers from time to time.

- The "I Can't Commit" virus hangs around a computer for a long time and frequently sends messages that it intends to invade, but is really just interested in playing with your computer's data.

- The "It's Just A Physical Thing" virus invades your computer on a regular basis, but no meaningful data is ever exchanged.

- The "I Want A Divorce" virus sends repeated, hard-to-read messages that your computer is never turned on, then finally leaves. But it returns some time later and takes half of your computer's best data in an ugly network session.

- The "Little Virus Of The Evening" virus will do anything to your computer--if you're willing to pay the right price.

- The "Stalker" virus spends unnatural amounts of time monitoring your computer, collecting data your computer has thrown away and trying to record its most intimate functions.

- The "Forever Single" virus causes your computer to focus solely on other computers that are totally incompatible with it.

- The "Deadbeat Dad" virus invades your computer, spawns an entirely new database, then refuses to help update it as it grows.

- The "Married Too Long" virus splits your PC into two partitions that never interface-one that does too much online shopping and one that never does anything except monitor

Thanks & Regards,
Mudit Kumar

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JRV's picture

Not submitted as an entry...just a link to many similar horror stories.

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LeslieMiller's picture

Thanks to everyone for helping us celebrate!

Below are the winners of our contest--thanks for making us laugh.

Pascal Kotte - think before
VBScabb - How Old Am I
JoeBolster - Helpdesk support
JHinchliffe - Destroy all Opp

Congratulations. You'll each receive 50 bonus rewards points.

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Gigabyte's picture

Tech : Can you see "My computer" On your desktop ?
Customer : How can i see your computer on my desktop ? :)
Tech : -:)

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macinslaw's picture

Story of my life!

I'd still like to share a few classics that really happened to me:

Was working as a field tech going t o different companies and working on various issues:

Got a call, I thought was a prank, called it and found out it wasn't.  Cup Holder Broken.  She had been using her computers CD Rom as a cup holder, when it turned off the cd tray tried to close, but the cup in it just made the tray fall out.  Had to disassemble and re-insert the tray.

Or then there was the time I went to a hospital because the floppy drive wasn't working.  So, I went and cleaned it, tested it and it was fine.  I went to leave and the user came outside screaming it's still broken!  So I ask her to show me how she uses it.  She copies a file, looks at it, ejects the disk, re-inserts it files are still there.  Then I ask, "What do you do with the disk?"  She turns around places the disk on a metal file cabinet and holds it in place with a magnet!  VIOLA!

Then there was the time that a user said her mouse was broken...I go to their desk and look for the mouse but I can't find it.  I ask where it is and it was on the floor.  I ask to see how the user was trying to use it and the user steps on it.  The user was using it as a foot pedal!

Am I the only one that has had users this crazy?

I had one where the user was afraid that clicking the mouse would hurt the monitor because the user was putting the mouse on the screen to move the pointer.

Anyway, just thought I would share, even though this is over.  Maybe put a smile on someone's face!

I thought of another...

I used to work for a national magazine as THE IT department. The production artists and I used to play jokes on one another.  Like, they would use my picture in strange places in the magazine and stuff.  Well, finally I thought of a good one.  We were a half mac shop.  The production team (2 people) ran macs.  And they arrived to work at different times.  So, I wrote a script that when one computer started, it send a command to the other to shutdown.  It was great fun seeing them go nuts.  It was great...Finally I snickered and the jig was up!

Great fun!

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Nel Ramos's picture

This really happened....
One operations guy called in IT support to fix his CUP HOLDER...
He was a heavy coffee drinker and the holder keeps on retracting...

After 30 minutes of troubleshooting and guessing...
the issue was resolved...
He was pertaing to the computer's CD Tray...


Nel Ramos

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estebs1978's picture

I used to work for an accounting firm and I was THE IT department.  Here in the United States, April 15 is when we file our income taxes.  This is April 13.

Phone call comes in at 5:15 a.m.

<USER> We need you to come in right now!
<ME> What's the problem?
<USER> Everything is down.  We cannot access the servers, we cannot access the intranet and internet, we cannot print, our phones are dead, everything is down!  Please come quick.

I didn't get up from the bed, nor calmly took my shower...I LEAPED off the bed, put clothes on and got in my car to rushed to the office as soon and as fast as I could.  On my way to the office my mind is racing, thinking of every possible problem and solution that I was about to face.  "Are all the switches out?  Did the router that can't be...both of them crash at the same time?  Are the servers down and the domain controller and the print servers are down maybe...

As I am getting into the parking lot I notice something odd.  Being 5:45 a.m. in Apri it was still dark (dawn maybe) and I notice that all the lights in the building...even the building sign above are off.  The gas station next to us is also dark.  I slowly begin to get mad knowing that the answer was right in front of me.

I called the user from the lobby and told him it would take me a minute to get up to the fifth floor because the ELEVATORS WERE NOT WORKING EITHER.  He still said “OK but please hurry up”.


The managing partner gets there about 10 minutes after me and comes to my office and in a very upset tone tells me "why are we down!!??".  I looked at him from my dark office and said with sarcasm in my voice; "well Jim...the hamsters that were running all the power for our servers and network died last night.  Blinky and Fofo are dead.  One had a heart attack and the other one had a very serious stroke.  As soon as they open the pet store I will go get two more and we should be good".

To this date, these former employers of mine that I have still great friendships with laugh about the level of stupidity that they displayed that day.  They learned something though...we need power for our operation to work.  When they built a brand new building for their firm, a massive generator was installed at my request.

Long story but I thought you would enjoy it!

Esteban Blanco, MCP, MCSE, MCTS, MCITP
Systems Engineer
Fiserv Inc.

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RonCaplinger's picture

We had an excellent program at a previous employer in which everyone in upper management (president, vice president, etc.) was REQUIRED to spend one day each year working with those of us on the floor.  One of the VP's wanted to work in the Data Center for a day, and picked my shift to come in and learn what we did.  We planned to let him try everything from starting our nightly batch processing on the mainframe, to printing and distributing reports, to rotating tapes.

We had a great first few hours, joking around with a VP and our managers who also came in to make sure we didn't make them look bad in front of the VP. 

When it came time to start the bulk of the nightly processing, we had the VP key in the command to kick off the batch jobs.  He carefully typed the command and hit ENTER...and the lights went out, the printers, disk drives, and CPU all went dark at the same time! 

After a second, the emergency lights kicked in, and I asked, "What was the command you entered?!?!?!  How hard did you hit that ENTER key?!?!?!"  Even in the dark, I could tell he was nervous, and we all started laughing, realizing he couldn't have caused it. 

It turned out that this was also the same day the UPS system was being tested, and the maintenance guys had shut down the wrong circuit at exactly the same time the VP had hit the ENTER key.  

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mohammed affan's picture


Happy System Admin Day to all of you.

Enjoy the solving problems.

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Dung's picture

Hi all
Great to join your community
Happy Sysadmin day to all members

Best regards,

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