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I Have Been in IT Hell

Damnable Computer

Let me start by apologizing for not having posted anything for a while. Trust me, there’s a reason, and I plan to explain it tonight.

If you follow me on twitter, you’re probably familiar with some of the most infuriating parts of my last couple of weeks. I’ve been compelled to share them. I needed to inflict at least mild annoyance on the rest of the world. It only seemed fair. If I was going to suffer through this nightmare, everyone else was going to at least have to put up with me bitching about it.

For those of you who do not follow me on twitter: SHAME ON YOU! You should. I’m awesome and witty sometimes.

Now, for the details of my horrible misery.

I know that is what you all really came here for anyway. My misery is tasty. Eat it up.

I have been in IT Hell

On December 14th, I arrived at work eager to get my things done. I was actually feeling pretty perky and energetic that morning. I was running early. I was even the first one there. Now, if I was better at being a pessimist, I would have realized that anything that chipper has to involve something being shredded by sharp, metal hell-teeth. If I had been that better pessimist, I’d have been right. As I was turning on the lights and getting ready to make some coffee, I noticed that there was an error window popped up on the server. I sat down and began going through the motions of fixing a computer.

The secret to being the entire IT department as side-gig to your general gig of being the office bitch is knowing some very basic rules of fixing a computer:

“Turn it off. Then Turn it on again.”

If that doesn’t work, then you call customer service tech support.

That’s right. I get my fat IT respect by knowing the phone numbers for the tech support hot lines.

When I restarted the server, it gave me the single most dreaded screen you can get when dealing with Windows 7 (or more accurately Windows Small Business Server 2011). “Windows could not be started…”

I had already tried rebooting the damn system, so this was bad. I loaded up the restore partition. There was no restore image. None. My server was basically mega-screwed. I did the wise IT thing, and called someone else to make it their problem. in this case, that would be a call to Dell. After a couple of hours of doing what they told me to do, they came to the same conclusion I did. The whole thing sucked butt and I wasn’t going to be able to do anything without my OS disks, which, by the way, Dell does not send with the computer when you buy it.

Without the sever, we couldn’t do any work in the office. I feel like I should stress that so everyone understands how the situation grows as the story goes on.

No Server ABSOLUTELY NO WORK.

After having Dell next day air my disks to me, I proceeded to screw around on the internet for the rest of Friday. I didn’t have the ability to do any other aspect of my job, and had genuinely been convinced by Dell that it would only take a few minutes to get up and running on Monday when the disks  arrived. Now there was two horrible truths that no one accounted for:

1) Dell uses Fed Ex. Fed Ex sucks in all ways and Next Day Air doesn’t show up until late in the afternoon. I’m talking very late, after 3 pm.

2) Dell tech support is probably just a guy googling “How to fix a broken computer.”

So, we were down Monday as well, and that sucked. We were now 2 days behind, but at least we’d be able to get something done on Tuesday, all I had to do was work late Monday night and we’d be fine.

EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO BE FINE!

I called Dell. I did the things they told me to do.

It formatted my hard drive and re-installed our server software. No big deal. We have back ups.

WE DIDN’T HAVE BACK UPS.

Now, I’d like to point out that I definitely had back ups set to store on our external hard drive. I’m 195% sure that I had backups running daily. I should have had back ups. I didn’t have any back ups.

My data was gone. I snagged a restore software off the cybernets and tried restoring our data. Nada.

I called my final solution in tech matters.

We have an outside IT consultant that we’d used a couple of times before. At 10:00 pm Monday night (14 hours after the official start of my work day), my boss decided to let me go home and call him in the morning.

Tuesday he came out and helped get our network back up and running. That was helpful, at least we could do something like 5% of our work. He took a look at the hard drive situation, put some better software of his own on the computer and set it to running. It was only going to take 8 hours, which meant it should have gotten done about 10:00 Tuesday night. I went home on time Tuesday.

Wednesday we found out that our hard drive itself was going bad. Our outside IT guy took our server back to his workshop and cloned the drive onto a new one. He even restored the files we thought we needed. Everything was glorious. He called me at home at about 8:00, and I ran up to his office, picked up the computer and took it back into work. It seemed like we might be able to get up and running Thursday morning.

Wednesday night was the night that the blizzard hit. Actually, a more accurate statement would be that Thursday was the morning that it hit, because it came in around 3 am.

I got up at my usual time, and started to head into work. My car got stuck in my own danged driveway. Now, my driveway is basically yard, so it was pretty easy to get stuck. I had to borrow my roommate’s car.

I’m not going to go into the details, but the car is a death trap, but a death trap that has no fear of the ice and snow. It got me to work, if almost two hours late.

I called the tech support for our production software and several hours later found out our file was bad. By several hours later, I mean, like six. Thursday was another late night as we tried to scramble to get recovered again.

In the end, the server actually got back up and running on Friday night at almost 7:00 pm. We were a week behind from office work alone. To top that all off, the most recent version of our database we were able to recover was from MAY.

MAY.

So, ever since then we’ve been working to get our records caught up from being 5 months behind while at the same time trying not to fall farther behind.

So. I might not be around a lot on the interwebs or able to doodle and write like I’d prefer to.

I will be back though, just as soon as I fight my way out of IT hell and back into office-bitch purgatory.

Published by M.A. Brotherton

M.A. Brotherton is a writer, blogger, artist, and fat-kid from the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. He’s tasted a little bit of everything the Midwest has to offer, ranging from meth-tweaking rednecks in massive underground cave complexes to those legendary amber waves of grain. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time screwing around on the internet.