Greatest IT Screwups You've Ever Done

Discussion in 'Computer Software and Operating Systems' started by Wolvenreign, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Wolvenreign

    Wolvenreign Transhuman Satanist Furry Technocrat

    Jul 7, 2008
    United States
    Indianapolis, IN
    Hey all. Thought it might be fun to share the follies of our computer fixing career, because everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes are hilarious.

    I'll start. Just this evening, I was formatting a WBFS external to use on my friend's Wii. I have a partitioned Windows/Linux setup. I was trying to find where the external hard drive was on WBFS Manager's menu, and in a moment of outright stupidity, I used a brilliant deduction and selected my own NTFS side to format.

    So now I gotta get out the Windows 7 disc and reinstall my Windows side.

    Oh, and my Ubuntu side is in Korean, for some reason. =I

    How about you all? What's your worst IT screwup ever?
  2. PityOnU

    PityOnU GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jul 5, 2012
    United States
    *still logged into remote shell on a hospital server*

    sudo poweroff
    Wait a second... fuck.
  3. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    From a business perspective or from a general tech perspective?

    For the former basically everything. I am slowly becoming a jaded and cynical bastard that will do what is asked of me rather than try to both figure out the problem (though thankfully "what are you trying to do?" is a question most people I meet are happy enough to answer) and provide a workable near perfect solution. Similarly my charging model... could use work, said model usually being meh for boring stuff and going up as I do something more interesting. However that is tempered by my being reluctant to charge for anything I consider experimental for me (if I have to look up more than an ini config or some syntax or have not done it before it is experimental) as it feels like I am conning people (something I already have issues with at the best of times) or to have taken too long for me to do (a less than flawless install compared to what I have done before being an example, even if the less than flawless part I could not have known about beforehand).

    More general tech stuff... I occasionally let myself get dehydrated (usually by leaving my bottle so I can fit more tools in my bag or not have to rearrange it, a mistake I am all too aware of) and that has led me to overlooking something. Such a thing often ending with my having to reinstall the OS/program I was already installing.
    I have yet to truly screw something up on a client site, the pile of dead electronics and other such things that can be attributed to me is gigantic but that is all junk I collect for the sole purpose of pulling it apart and playing with it (and I usually play hard).
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  4. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Honk!

    pip Contributor
    GBAtemp Patron
    Tom Bombadildo is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Jul 11, 2009
    United States
    I forgot
    Hmm...I can't think of too many things I myself have done, or rather things I would consider a "screw up". Like...I forgot to back up a data partition on an old laptop before I had updated it from XP to 7, but that (to me) is rather minor, even though I lost like 100GB of stuff (in an age where my top download speed was 300kb/s ._.) When it comes to doing IT-related things for others, I'm usually careful and prepare just in case. I always have like...3 or 4 different flash drives with various OSes/backup&restore tools on it, as well as a CD or two for those really old models that can't boot from USB, also with an external HDD of some sort (right now I have a 3TB that's working great, though I'll be needing to replace it soon I think)

    I've had screw ups that were mostly hardware related/caused by some outside source, for example an install of Windows 8 on my current laptop decided to just...bork half way through, causing the HDD to corrupt. I was lucky enough to have backed up my entire data partition this time, as well as made a system image from my Windows partition just in case. Unfortunately, though, Windows wouldn't let me do any kind of system image restore because of a supposed "corrupted source or destination" (I tested the HDD with a Linux Live USB, it was totally fine), so I had to go and do a fresh install of Windows. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but this is a Toshiba Satellite laptop that was designed with Windows 8 in mind, so I had to sort of scour the internet (again, as I had to do this for the previous Windows 7 install) for drivers that would work. I had to find drivers for my AMD chipset and the graphics drivers for my APU, as AMD's "Autodetect" claimed my APU was "unsuppported", as well as both wireless and ethernet drivers. I still need to locate a driver for my SD card reader, but I haven't been assed to do it yet since I hardly ever use it.

    Other than that, I really can't think of too much that I've screwed up in some way, I suppose I just have good luck or something when it comes to stuff like
  5. loco365

    loco365 GBAtemp Guru

    Sep 1, 2010
    I once screwed up my Vista boot (When it was still a thing). Thank god I had recovery media. That, and I recently screwed up my Samsung phone after screwing in the *#197328640# menu.
  6. Bobbyloujo

    Bobbyloujo I am a millipede, I am amazing.

    Jul 24, 2010
    United States
    A few years ago, I got a BSOD virus on my brand new desktop about a month after I got it. My friends suggested that we pirate legitimately purchase the first Halo game for PC so we could play Halo together. My torrented retail copy of the game didn't come with a crack so I had to find one. It was a really stupid move on my part. The crack I found was something like "Halo 1 Crack.exe" and came from a real shady website. Obviously it was a virus but I was just like "Eh, how much harm could it do?" because I expected it to be some small trojan that I could just delete like I had done in the past. I double clicked "Halo 1 Crack.exe" and it immediately disappeared out of the folder it was in. At that point I was like "ah crap" and then about 2 seconds later my computer blue screened. I tried restarted and as soon as it got to the desktop it blue screened. Tried booting in safe mode, blue screened. Tried booting to the recovery partition and tried every option, all still blue screened. In the end, my brother who would later get a degree in IST had to come save me. He went back to his apartment, got his Windows 7 installation disk, and reinstalled Windows. From then on my friend would always joke and say "Hey, Be.. Bobby! What do you say we torrent Halo?" -.-
  7. nukeboy95

    nukeboy95 Leave luck to heaven.

    Aug 24, 2010
    United States
    not sure
    installed windows 8
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  8. jonthedit

    jonthedit GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    May 30, 2011
  9. YayMii

    YayMii hi

    Jun 24, 2009
    that place
    Haha, I actually screwed up my computer as a hobby when I was younger :P I've managed to screw with the Windows files enough to cause BSODs, and sometimes enough to warrant a reinstall of XP (although they were mainly caused by dumb things like a failed UXtheme patch or replacing explorer.exe with a custom shell that wasn't designed to be used as a full-on replacement).
    In terms of actual physical mistakes, I managed to bend the pins of my old Athlon 64 badly out of place. It took me at least an hour before I was able to bend the pins enough to have it fit in the slot. I also killed a hard drive by accidentally directing static electricity into the metal part on the bottom.
    I also sometimes go completely braindead when I go hands-on with something, and manage to break things that nobody tends to break. For example, I removed the Right Alt key switch on my mechanical keyboard because I completely destroyed the bottom of the keycap and shorted out the switch with superglue. Another would be several years ago, when my brother was cleaning out the inside of his (original) Xbox controller, and I managed to take the D-pad membrane and rip it apart before he noticed it was missing. I've ripped a couple of ribbon cables by accident when trying to perform a DIY phone repair. I also managed to somehow break a TV remote in half when I was about 4 years old. And who knows how many Wifi antennas I've broken from moving around my desktop.

    And kinda related: My laptop's system language is set to English, but for some reason, iTunes and Google Drive (among other programs) detect it as Japanese and display as such, with no way of changing it. I'm not sure why.
  10. Deadvolt

    Deadvolt Advanced Member

    Jun 14, 2009
    United States
    tripping over a loose powercable plugged into a 2tb WD external drive.
    sending the drive flying off the desk, and onto hard flooring. destroying the drive inside. "think taking a HDD wile spooled up, and forcibly slamming it on concert".

    obviously loosing a 1.2tb of data, mostly anime :(
  11. Arras

    Arras GBAtemp Guru

    Sep 14, 2010
    Maybe your locale is set to Japanese? There's like four different things programs can use to determine language (one of which being physical location).
  12. Psionic Roshambo

    Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Aug 12, 2011
    United States
    Probably my greatest IT mistake was paying many thousands of dollars to go to school earning my A+, N+, MCSE... I managed to work for almost 2 years working for Dell doing level 2 tech support and that was pretty much the height of my IT career.

    Big waste of money really but I was young and didn't foresee the whole India outsourcing thing coming, combined with the massive drop in the price of PC's to the point where people don't really fix them instead they buy a new one. (not me of course but I am speaking about the average grandma who buys a new PC when her old gets slow from the 800 pieces of crapware she installed over the last 12 months....)

    On the upside I did enjoy being called a genius several times a day by customers on the phone, always nice to be appreciated if not by your employer at least the customers where nice to me. (90% of the time)
  13. jargus

    jargus GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Apr 11, 2007
    United States
    Just a month or so ago I decided I would upgrade my Home network's security options. Never really messed with after it first established years ago. It was using WEP because the DS didn't support anything greater. So I changed it then everything broke. I still had network access, but we lost internet access, even on the wired connections. So I hit the reset and somehow Windows was telling me that the modem was having problems. So I tried connecting the PC directly to it and nothing. After trying things I went to bed since it was 4AM. In the morning I hit the small reset button (the one you need a pin to reach) on the modem and somehow eventually it could give direct internet access. Problem solved I thought. I reconnected the router to the modem and then my Ethernet connection. But it still not go online. So I found a guide from my ISP's website that detailed how to set up the modem for wireless networking. It took awhile to find the right options because we have on older model modem. Even then things weren't working and we had to switch between plugging the PC between the router and modem to view the different pages of the guide until we discovered there was a pdf download of it right there. After that followed the instructions and configured the modem properly. Then we connected the router redid the settings, this time added authentication for the ISP. Strange is we never had to that before; we just ran the installation CD and the security settings. So finally I was able to use WPA2 and this time everything worked and I just needed to update the other devices around the house for the settings. Basically I somehow broke the network and had to recreate it form scratch. I still do not know what exactly I screwed up.

    A minor mistake I made in the distant past was relying on Internet Explorer
  14. aiat_gamer

    aiat_gamer GBAtemp Fan

    May 1, 2008
    Is it really that bad?! I am planning to install it when my new case comes, since I have access to free version of it on the account of my university.

    I tried to install a new ram for my PC, somehow ended up killing the mainboard...that was the last time I ever touched computer hardware!
  15. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

    Apr 29, 2011
    United States
    Dr. Wahwee's castle

    Installed Windows ME before XP came out.
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  16. asnka

    asnka Advanced Member

    Apr 27, 2006
    United States
  17. Niksy

    Niksy Advanced Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    In my opinion, It's not bad at all.

    I have been using Windows 8 for around two months. The MetroUI is not as big a deal as people make it out to be - just launch the desktop and it's like nothing has changed. Of course, the Start button is gone, but I don't mind - using shortcuts like Win + D (go to desktop) and Win + E (open My Computer) is enough for me.

    What I really like is the search indexing and the faster boot time. I haven't timed it but it is noticably faster.

    So yeah, if you REALLY need the Start button - don't get Windows 8. Otherwise? I think you'll probably like it.
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  18. Pedeadstrian

    Pedeadstrian GBAtemp's Official frill-necked lizard.

    Oct 12, 2012
    United States
    Sandy Eggo
    I used to search for images of naked ladies. Instead of videos of them. Oh, the shame...

    Um... have you not installed 8.1 yet? It's free, and... there's a start button.
  19. Sicklyboy

    Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

    Global Moderator
    Jul 15, 2009
    United States
    [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]

    Oh yeah, it's terrible. Look at how... abnormal the interface looks.

    Click to enlarge

    :glare: In all honesty, set it to boot straight to the desktop, and you'll seldom have to deal with the Start screen. I personally love Windows 8. The Start screen isn't my cup of tea, but, like I said, I seldom use it. Everything I need is on my desktop or taskbar 90% of the time, the other 8% being accessible through either right clicking the start button or a "Run..." prompt (Win+R), otherwise, I tap the start key and start typing to search my installed programs. It's starting to slow down a little bit, but that's because I have a ton of shit on it that I don't need, and I did an in-place upgrade from Windows 7 rather than a clean install.

    On topic, and somewhat related to aiat_gamer said (actually I have a few stories, all semi related)

    -I forget exactly what it was doing, but my computer had a problem booting (ASUS A8N-E mobo, AMD Athlon 64 3500+ CPU), I think it would hang before the splash screen. Removed all components (except the hard drives...) and the problem persisted. Bought all new mobo, CPU, RAM, installed, problem still persisted. Unplugged everything down to just those 3 components, it worked, so I plugged the hard drives back in... one of them died, so I filled an RMA for it.

    - Somewhere before or after I determined the hard drive was the problem, I decided to remove a stick of RAM, and without looking in the case fully, I reseated it later. Turns out I slipped it between two of the DIMM slots and tore an SMD component off of the PCB. Got those RMAd saying they were DOA.

    -At one point I decided to try my hand at overclocking, and needed to switch from the factory thermal paste to something better, like Arctic Silver 5. I had never pasted a CPU before, so I thought "oh, just use a good amount". 1/3 of the tube later my temps were higher than before. And that's when I used my GoogleFu.

    Edit -

    Windows 8.1 has a Start button, just not a Start menu. That's replaced by the Start screen, as you know.
  20. nukeboy95

    nukeboy95 Leave luck to heaven.

    Aug 24, 2010
    United States
    not sure
    well it wa the RT version so idk about the full thing