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What are your worst computing mistakes?

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I had 2x 20GB QUANTUM FIREBALL!!!! dives in my parent's dell we ended up burning in the middle of my parent's field!!!! it's funny how we had a bonfire with that and another crappy PC... we finally got closure becuase that pc started world war 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,and 10 at my parent's house....

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Forgot to print and lockup a copy of my TPM security key for bitlocker on a pair of 2 TB RAIDed hard drives... Windows updated the boot sector throwing the TPM into freakout mode.

I now have both drives sitting in my safe waiting for someday, hopefully a decent brute force bitlocker encryption cracker comes out. About 10 years of data, pictures, programming, etc sitting on those drives >.>

I've done this before - can't you just reverse whatever change you made in the BIOS to get it to boot again?

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I attempted to flash a socket 7 motherboard's bios(The pc was acting up), but i forgot to turn the bios updating option in the bios on beforehand(A friend told me to disable it as someone could hack in and flash it). From then on i couldn't use the pc and it was my main pc at the time. lol.

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Stopped the SSH daemon on a very remote server then logged out, panic ensued and a very apologetic phone call to my boss and a remote admin to get it turned back on.

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I did the improbable. Before I knew much about building and repairing computers, I had read somewhere you could make your system faster by installing faster memory. I took some memory a friend of mine had just replaced, which was faster than what I had. I cracked open my case, and popped out the old memory just fine.

I installed one stick and it clicked as I pushed it in and the tabs snapped forward. Good so far. I then installed the other stick which was a little harder to get in. But, with a nice forceful push, I snapped it into place. Put the cover back on the case and tried to boot the machine. The lovely, long, single beep issued from the case speaker and then... I smelled smoke. I panicked, pulled the plug on the machine and opened it back up.

Turns out that I somehow managed to put the memory stick in backwards. I know. I know. The slots shouldn't have even allowed this but I did it. The stick was fried as was that particular channel. Amazingly the board was good and the computer booted up and worked fine with the remaining stick and two of the older ones. I also learned not to mix and match memory after this.

So, it only cost me a channel and a stick of memory. But, anybody that I tell that story to always says, "How the hell did you do that? That's near impossible to do." I am Mr. Impossible.

I've done the same thing. Even more impressive was that once I turned the stick back round the right way despite the burn mark on it's conductors the whole system ran for 2 years after that. Winner.

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Buying a low cost/quality PSU, only to have my graphics card smoke after around 3 weeks of usage -.-

Edit:

And back in the Windows 98 days, deleting some of the Windows Folder Files :D

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I've done the same thing. Even more impressive was that once I turned the stick back round the right way despite the burn mark on it's conductors the whole system ran for 2 years after that. Winner.

Reminds me of my first ever memory upgrade, on my first ever PC I decided to upgrade the RAM from 8MB to 16MB using SIMMs, I was new at it and didn't quite get the angle right to click them in properly. I had to push it in a little bit more than I should have, and snapped one of the retainer clips off :( Newer PC's are so much easier

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When I built my first PC, I just used a generic PSU that came with the case. Unsurprisingly, it blew after a few months. So, being a cheap-ass at the time, I decided to disassemble the PSU and try to fix it. I saw some resistors burnt out, so I soldered new ones on. The fixed PSU worked...for about a month until it blew up again, this time taking my 2 hard-drives with it (I had no backups). I ended up paying $110 for a logic board to recover the data on one drive, and just scrapped the other since there was nothing irreplaceable on it. I also got a new Antec PSU and swore to never again use a generic PSU.

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Back in 2008 and before that i never used to backup my data. I started backing up after my first HDD crash! I lost so valuable data in it i can't even express in words. Since then i backup my data every 3 days to two different locations dont wanna be in that mess again...

bottom line: NO MATTER IF YOUR HDD IS BRAND NEW! OR BRAND OLD! BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP your **** every few days!

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Installed Linux on a separate partition on my laptop.

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While remote desktoping one of my dedicated machines i rented a few years back, i accidently slipped on the "Disable" menu option of the network card instead of "Status".

Funny times were had when i created that support ticket!

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Used a screwdriver on a Socket A MoBo to emove the CPU fan, slipped and stabbed the moterboard, killed it instantly.

A company I used to work at was exhibiting at a large exhibition, our client support team spent a few days preparing a maching to show off all our products and asked me to ghost the image to 2 other drives.... Yeap, got it the wrong way around and wiped 2/3 days work in a matter of minutes. :pinch: Thankfully the irony wasnt lost on them!

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While remote desktoping one of my dedicated machines i rented a few years back, i accidently slipped on the "Disable" menu option of the network card instead of "Status".

Funny times were had when i created that support ticket!

I did similar with the firewall service on a Server08R2 instance.

I hit stop instead of restart. Had to open a ticket for them to go and re-enable the service -_-

DERPPPPP

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I had a Windows crash back in the day, I can't remember if it was ME (which, believe it or not, I had great success with) or the early days of XP. I was going to reformat, but I wanted to make sure I didn't lose my thousands upon thousands of MP3. So I decided to move them from one hard drive to another... through DOS. Well, instead of my wonderfully named files (Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven) all my files were shortened to fit the character limit (LEDZEPPE~12, or similar). What a disaster. And this was back in 2001 or 2002, and I still haven't recovered!

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My worst mistake was trying to use a video card (Radeon 9800 Pro) in a computer with an insufficient power supply (300W). My first clue should have been the artifacts on the screen. My second clue should have been that disconnecting the optical drive and floppy's power helped a little.

On the bright side, I got to upgrade my computer!

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"few" years ago i was trying to install a leaked build of XP and somehow deleted my partition and formatted the whole disk, losing all my files... still miss that data :( also building a new PC i managed to wrongly install a ram stick, realize that after the sparks and smock coming out the case :p

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Forgot to print and lockup a copy of my TPM security key for bitlocker on a pair of 2 TB RAIDed hard drives... Windows updated the boot sector throwing the TPM into freakout mode.

I now have both drives sitting in my safe waiting for someday, hopefully a decent brute force bitlocker encryption cracker comes out. About 10 years of data, pictures, programming, etc sitting on those drives >.>

Oh! I hope this helps! Let me know! Also, just google it. There's tones of sites out there. :)

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2009/12/first-commercial-tool-cracks-bitlocker/

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Nuking Windows 98 SE installation twicely as newbie; by installing LiteStep (or maybe it was LDE(X)?) which wasnt compatible with polish Windows 98 and crashed system at boot, and by overwriting Windows by installing BeOS image partition to whole disk.

Disconnecting about +30 people from the WLAN placed in Cafe by tripping on the cord.

Making 'accidently' long and deep cut on two fingers and palm by Riva TNT 2 chipsed - i was curious how looks connection with rest of the gpu card.

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One I just done in the last 30 mins.

I've got a nettop so not optical drive. I tried booting to WDS but came up with a driver issue, couldn't be bothered doing all the lark of adding it to boot.wim, so I hunted around and found my USB optical drive. As soon as I set windows 7 off I remember I could of just used a flash memory stick, doh!

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I almost formatted a HDD holding every customers restaurant menu designs from a small printers shop once, when I realised what I had just done I pulled the power with an instant sweat appear on my forehead

Luckily slow XP and fast reflexes saved the day

I was not so lucky a few years ago when I was backing up full outlook emails/profiles etc for every machine in head office and somehow managed to not backup the CEO/Boss' outlook before we switched servers/domains... was not a popular boy for a while

heheh the CEO thing....oooooops! I did something similar, cept due to being a remote worker who didnt "officially" support him, I left the PSTS on his HDD for his local contracted tech support to import into his new Office 2k7 install (from 2k3) was his personal mail server/files on his work machine......Contractor attempted to import and could not see any of his 6 years worth of mail in the archive or any of his email contacts.......CEO phoned me to save the day :p little did he know I somehow managed to make an empty PST with 2Gb file size but no actual content, still dont know wtf happened to this day, thankfully I still had his old laptop here and saved the day (after being flown down to London at the CEOs request) , the Ex-CEO to this day still thinks I saved the day and was superior to his ?1000 a day contractor hehe, I kept my mouth SHUT!

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Hmmmm

The other week, I was mooching about on a paintball companies website before I was going to go out and see a movie (I have been working for them as a tech), when I noticed they were not adding VAT to their items. I thought "lets add this ?900 paintball gun to my basket and see if it adds it on there".

Nope - not added there. So I thought maybe the next screen... nope. Entered my card details and thought "the confirmation on the next page before the order is taken - it will be there surely".

Nope. I was charged ?900. Ouch. Had to call the store owner on the Saturday evening to see if they'll quickly cancel the payment as I was going on holiday in 2 days!

Actual IT problems...

Usual... formatted a drive that I shouldn't have - yep, those 3 stages occur over about 30 seconds.

The biggie... when I was 17 or 18, I did work experience for UUNET Pipex in Cambridge. I was given the task of setting up internal porn filtering within the company (yes, really. I had to visit porn sites and put them into filters etc). I could also add key words to block too.

When I clicked DEPLOY the entire network became overloaded at stopped. The keywords caused the network to block pretty much all data being sent across it.

Another one that I didn't do, thankfully.... was a contractor was meant to backup a config on an SR12A but instead pasted a config into it that wasn't meant for it. Queue an ISP losing an awful lot of customers off their network. Thankfully, it was for 5mins only - but he ended up losing his job over it.

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