Hardware

Support diary: Anonymous (Friday)

Find out how our guest contributor wrapped up the week.


Fax servers and DNS configurations are the hot topics today.

Read Monday’s entry.

Read Tuesday’s entry.

Read Wednesday’s entry .

Read Thursday’s entry .

9:00 A.M.
Barring an unforeseen disaster, today should be a breeze. I start off by changing the backup tapes and filling the coffee mug. From there, I check for open tickets. Since there are none, for the first time in a week I have time to catch up with TechRepublic.

10:10 A.M.
A user calls about the fax server. He has received faxes several times from two different customers. Each fax has a different transaction number, so the customers’ fax machines are obviously dialing more than once. I ask the user to investigate each fax, and it turns out all but the last are incomplete. Apparently, the customers’ fax machines are programmed to redial if they can’t complete their transactions. That’s certainly not unusual, but a user calling about getting the same fax several times is a first.

Since this problem involves two different customers, I have to wonder if our fax server is kicking them off. The thing is, no one else is complaining. If our server was the problem, surely it would disconnect on other users’ customers. I tell the user that it may or may not be us. Since the problem isn’t keeping him from getting faxes, and no one else is complaining, I’ll wait and come in this weekend to reboot the fax server and reset all the modems in the bank. The user is satisfied with this and will keep me posted on any other problems.

10:30 A.M.
A user from one of the sales offices calls. His laptop has been giving us fits for a week. It’s nothing that keeps him from working, but his ability to find internal Web sites is a bit unpredictable. We set up DNS with the same configuration as all the other users have, yet he can’t get to all the company Web sites. If we change the order of the DNS servers, he can get to some of the sites he couldn’t get to before, but not to all of the ones he could originally connect to. This is really over my head.

I brought it up to some Network Engineer friends, and they agreed that there are probably some things I could change in the registry, but why bother. It’s just too risky. They suggested that, as long as I have a good image, I should just have him back up and then re-image the machine. I walk the user through finding the site he wants through the search engine and set up an appointment to re-image on Monday.

11:15 A.M.
I begin inputting the day’s tickets. I have a couple, and my associate has a few more. If I really concentrated, this would only take about 15 minutes, but it is a task I hate.

NOON
A few of us take off for lunch. We discuss office gossip, but nothing is accomplished.

1:15 P.M.
My associate calls me over. He’s working a laptop that will be used by two people who are job sharing. He knows there’s a way to make Outlook prompt you for the profile, but he can’t find it. You would think it would be in “Show Profiles,” right? Wrong. I know he’s right but can’t find it myself. I do, however, have a book called Outlook Annoyances. From it, I learn that you have to launch Outlook, go into tools, and then options to find the switch for prompting for profiles. Yet another mystery solved.

2:15 P.M.
Only one ticket for the afternoon, and my associate took care of it. I download the latest laptop image from the FTP server and make a CD for Monday morning’s re-image.

That’s it for the week
It’s a bit early, but I’m calling it a day. I’ve put in a lot of hours this week, and my husband’s plane will land in twenty minutes. I had a productive week and am looking forward to a great weekend.
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