Our company provides DSL service to residences and small businesses in our area, so the customers we work with have a variety of technology comfort levels.
One afternoon, a tech hung up the phone after a call and shared this frustrating yet amusing troubleshooting story.
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The caller was "Larry," the owner of a small home-based business, who could not get onto the Internet.
After having Larry check the lights on the DSL router (all green and happy) and verifying the account was authenticating successfully, our tech asked for the workstation's IP address and dug deeper into the problem. The ever-unpopular "0.0.0.0" gave only a bit of insight. Running ipconfig release/renew gave no joy, either.
Our tech then asked Larry to check the connection from the computer to the DSL router. Larry shot back, "I'm not going to crawl around under the damn desk -- everything is hooked up fine!"
The tech said, "OK, let's try a different approach. How is the other PC in the office working?"
Larry booted up the second PC, and it couldn't find the Internet, either. The message "A network cable is unplugged" popped up in the lower-right corner. Our tech explained what the message meant and again asked that Larry check the connection. Larry refused.
The conversation continued, Larry insisting that the connection was fine and the tech working hard to stay professional and look for other troubleshooting solutions. Finally, after 45 minutes, Larry (with a deep sigh) agreed to crawl under the desk.
There, he discovered his four-port Ethernet switch (which was sharing the DSL router port with both PCs) completely dark; the power supply had been unplugged.
After plugging it in, all services lit up as expected. Larry told our technician, "Y'know, my wife vacuums on Thursdays, and she must have forgotten to plug that little box back in. Looks like we're OK now. G'bye."