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What's the worst mistake you ever made as an IT pro?

By JodyGilbert ·
Tags: Off Topic
We talk a lot (and laugh a lot) about the dumb things our users do--but of course, we do plenty of dumb things ourselves.

The recent article ( and download ( "10 classic clueless-user stories" showcases bizarre tales of user behavior as described by some TechRepublic members. Now let's turn the tables and talk about OUR mistakes.

What's the biggest blunder you ever made (or almost made) during your IT career? Don't hold back! Share it here or pop over to my blog and see what people are saying.


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Not a technical blunder

by DC Guy In reply to What's the worst mistake ...

The worst mistake I've made in my career is one that I've made several times: trusting people who turn out not to be trustworthy. I've lost a couple of jobs by being the fall guy. I've made some decisions based upon what I was told by people I trusted which ruined me. I'm still paying for them. I should be retired by now but I'm still working because of misplaced trust.

Still, I can't get over the fact that not ever trusting anyone has got to be an even more dismal life.

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We've all made errors

by Neil Higgins In reply to Not a technical blunder

but I suppose my big time "gaff" was asking someone at work to delete files X,Y,and Z off one of the desktops,whilst I went to lunch.Dont worry,I said,they're not important,as I've finished those "work-tickets",so there's no point keeping them on file.One hour later,I returned to find the "said person" had misheard me,and was formating the entire hard drive.Forunately,everything had been backed-up elsewhere,as disembowlment would surelly have followed,not to mention my P45.My boss however,was still not amused.Guess what I spent doing all afternoon?

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by info In reply to We've all made errors

Writing Service pack 3 to disguise a disk full of porn

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Going into IT believing pay was good

by miltuckydave In reply to

I should have gone into Sales.... The salaries are better than most but **** I could drive a union garbage truck to get the same pay with no worry of being outsourced.

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Disabled NetBIOS on a workstation...

by RayJeff In reply to

because of the usual funky security issues with NetBIOS being enabled on a workstation. It was a workstation I used all the time and then all of a sudden, couldn't get Net access anymore. It bugged me for the longest about it. Tried figuring out for months why. Then, some months ago (the problem started during the summer of last year) the network admin was doing some work to the workstations on the same row with that workstation, so I told her the problem. Turns out the problem was that the disabled NetBIOS setting was the problem. The DNS server has NetBIOS enabled, so of course the workstations needs the setting info from the server for Net access.

Dum-dum me should've known that anyway. Another tale of trying to be clever when you really aren't being clever *lol*.

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This sounds like a user error

by Cweb In reply to We've all made errors

This wasn't your fault, but another stupid user fault.

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Newbie troubles

by manuel.amaro In reply to We've all made errors

In my IT beggining I was reinstalling our finantial application (MSDOS back on 198 and I thought I've made a backup of the data directory and I've erased it. Thinking better (but too late) I've managed to find the place where the backup was and... It wasn't.
5 years of Company's Finantial just vanished under my hands (our backup policy sucked), I was already feeling myself unemployed.
Then I called (in secret) our consultor and he introduced me to Norton Utilities and we've recovered those %&$#&%$ files one by one. In those days I thought he was some kind of miracle maker.

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That feeling...

by user@# In reply to Newbie troubles

was one expressed to me by more than one user when I worked as an applications expert. Win 95 was the rage then, but a few of our customers still used DOS-based software and, occasionally, ran into problems. I still remembered enough (simple) DOS commands to get them out of their holes-- and their admiration at my "miracle working" shone through the phone.

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Same here

by Kaniki In reply to Newbie troubles

This was years ago.. around 1998 i think. I once had someones PC here was formatting the drive in my computer.. well at least i thought I was. I have removable hard drive racks and there are 2 hard drives in the PC, one in each rack. I took one (the C: drive) out which should have been the first drive when rebooting from a boot disk, after all it was the master on the first ribbon, but for some unknown reason after booting off of a boot disk the 2nd drive, which was on the 2nd ribbon suddenly became the C: drive and the c: drive became the d: drive.

I never looked to check that the c: drive was the first drive and typed in to format the C: drive. after I took it out and put my regular drive back in I found that my 2nd drive, which was used for storing files and stuff, had been formatted.. Needless to say I could have kicked myself in the butt for doing it and not double checking.. I never did that again..

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writing /dev/hda

by ornelyz In reply to We've all made errors

what about this:
grep "something" > /dev/hda1

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