Sometimes, being plugged in is just not enough...
I did some time as part of a call center help desk team at a well-to-do corporate HQ office. The help desk was manned with 10 techies and supported just under 2,000 non-IT people in the building. Floor tech support was generally handled by the server techs.
Anyway, it was a Monday morning. A user called in unable to get his computer to boot up. After spending almost 45 minutes trying to troubleshoot the problem, I had resolved that it sounded like either: a) the user didn't know what he was doing and didn't know how to turn on his computer, or b) the power supply was dead and would require a floor tech to verify it was indeed dead, and order the replacement.
So, a junior floor tech was sent out to investigate and assist the user.
It was approaching 30 minutes later when I got a call from the junior tech from the dead PC. He verified that indeed the PC would not power up, and had no power indicators lit. I walked the junior tech through checking the LEDs on the motherboard and checking the wall outlet (using the light in the cubicle), and the outlet was good. After spending a little more than 15 minutes trouble shooting tech-to-tech, I headed out to see if I could find the problem, figuring either the junior tech didn't know what he was doing, or there was a real problem.
At the PC, I was able to verify that the outlet was good, and the PC was not powering up. Figuring it could be a bad power strip, we even tried swapping out the power strip, ensuring that every plug was securely seated in the power strip. The dead PC remained dead.
After about another half hour, we received a call asking for a status update. We replied that it was still unknown what the problem was, and the PC was still not working.
The IT Support Manager sent out the senior tech to check, and if necessary, order any required parts, or replace the whole system on the spot. The senior tech arrived on the scene, asked what we had checked and found out. He mentioned that it sounded like we had checked everything, and was about to begin replacing the system. He began to unhook all power cables both from the wall and the power strip and the back of the machines. In the process of removing all plugs he found that the power strip had been plugged into itself, not into the wall.
How many techs does it take to turn on a computer? Well, with 3 it can be done in just a little under 3 hours!