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Disastrous Day

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I’ve had a heavy workload for the past few weeks which means work has been quite hectic — and the reason why I’ve not been online in the evenings of late — but today was particularly ridiculous.

Within 10 minutes of getting into work, I had a dead system on my hands. The Dell we use for our internal job/client/supplier management system had managed to corrupt itself. To be honest, it’d been giving system errors since I started nearly 2 years ago so it’s done well to hang on this long, but it couldn’t have picked a worse moment to bomb out on me.

I managed to get into Windows and recover data, so only time was lost, but I can’t believe it took me most of the day to get it back into a fit state. I spent a good hour trying to figure out how I was going to get the right drivers without a) knowing the individual hardware component info and b) no working ‘net (because the network adapter wasn’t configured) only to discover that Dell has an excellent driver/support system. I entered in the service tag and got the full list of drivers despite the system being plenty old. Well impressed there.

Reinstalling XAMPP was quick and painless as ever, but the SQL backup was so large it kept timing out. In the end I managed to split it up into chunks and get everything back in that way, but God knows I wish I’d remembered about BigDump.

On top of all that, I managed to injure myself 4 times. I smacked my arm on the door of a colleagues car, and my knee on the dashboard (low dash, long legs). I then cracked my head on the underneath of my desk as I was plugging my KVM back in, and as I instinctively pulled my away from the desk I walloped the side of my face/eye into the corner of my PC. I seem to have escaped the black eye, thankfully.

I need a holiday, and vodka. Not necessarily in that order.

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

27 comments so far

  1. Hannah said:

    That’s pretty hectic! I think I’d rather have a hectic work day than a very boring one, though.

    Hehe, had to add that BigDump made me giggle.

  2. Aimée said:

    Look on the bright side… after today, it really can’t get much worse. Have a strong drink and sleep, and I’m sure tomorrow will seem a bit brighter. :)

  3. Carly said:

    Sounds like my day at work… actually mine was less technical but still very demanding…. grr

    I uninstalled then reinstalled XAMPP recently, and I still can’t get it to work… hmmm

    Dunno what to do about it really.

    Hope you get your vodka, and your holiday soon!

  4. Erin said:

    I just hope tomorrow goes better for you, it being Friday the 13th and all. Perhaps you ought to take a flask in with you to work? You know, just in case.

  5. Robbie said:

    >_< Dells are…special. I’m surprised you managed to do what you did. Feel better soon! Maybe have some of your famous hot chocolate.

  6. Mat said:

    Why do you need some staggered exporter :| mysqldump will do dumps pretty damn quickly and theres no socket that can be timed out.

    Sucks, hope you are feeling better :)

  7. Annie said:

    Yikes, I hope your battle wounds are better. After a day like that it’s a good thing you don’t have to work today. I hope you have a nice day with your vodka. ;)

  8. Mat said:

    It’s an importer, not an exporter, and all I had access to at the time was phpmyadmin

    Cheers Mat

    My apologies, But you can always use mysql on the command line and using the ‘source’ command you can load db dumps in super quick :D

  9. Audrey said:

    It sounds like you managed pretty well. I work as a support technician for a university that a) uses Dell as our supplier and b) handles a large volume of users compared to the number of staff. My suggestions come from experience not harshness for you. How could anyone have harshness for such a l33t n!nj4?

    1. Save your data to your network drives. These are found in “My Computer” at the bottom as drive letters typically starting around “H:\”. If your company does not offer network backed-up storage they really should. If you’d not been able to recover data imagine how much you (or others) might be set-back.

    2. Take the Dell Drivers section with a grain of salt. Some models can be shipped with multiple hardware configurations. There could be 8 drivers listed as network drivers, but only one is the one you need. Installing an incorrect driver can cause page faults (aka “Blue screen of death”), restarting loops, or other issues; So just be wary. Even putting in a specific service tag can yield vague results.

    2. Run Spybot Search & Destroy on your system to remove malware. It is a powerful tool for any computer user. Not using it is just prideful ignorance; like refusing to wear a life jacket while swimming in the ocean. Spybot S&D takes a while to run, so start it during a lunch break and let it run. Also, the Immunization and Tea-Timer features are great. The first protects you from known malware, while the second informs/confirms registry changes that software attempts to make (keeping you aware of what’s going on).

    4. Running CCleaner to get rid of useless information your machine saves about you and old cookies can help system performance if it’s slow. The registry cleaner (second tab) of this program organizes your registry (like fragmenting organizes your hard drive or Disk Repair works in a Mac OS), which can also improve system stability.

    Jem, I am not saying all of this because I think you maybe don’t know (you seem very computer savvy) or because I know anyone at all from either produce. I am saying them to be helpful. Feel free to email me if you want any other technical support tips or have questions about what I’ve said. I recommend those programs for home use too. They are powerful and safe to use.

  10. Karl said:

    I’m a tech, and I can say Spybot and CCleaner I would not let NEAR any of my systems (200+)…clean install, windows updates, decent AV – job done. 3rd party crap is just that. A well looked after copy of windows shouldn’t need it.

    As to the backups, I’ve said this to Jem several times…however, it’s not my network..heh.

    This server was only an auxilliary “make do and mend” XP Pro webserver – it could be backed up to either network or pen..

  11. Jem said:

    With all due respect Audrey, I’m a trained IT support technician. While I appreciate your advice, you’re better off giving it to someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

  12. Arwen said:

    If it was me, I probably would have sustained twice as many injuries. Good thing you got everything back up and running, though!

  13. Jeremy G. said:

    This reminds me of MANY days in my life. I once threw a desktop pc off the roof of a 12 story building for not cooperating. True story. Recently, I was ready to set my computer in the middle of the street and light it on fire because my blog layout was pissing me off :) It’s fun, it lets out steam.

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