Tuesday, April 05, 2005

One Downside to Home Officing: Do-It-Yourself IT Support

When I shut down my computer system last night everything worked fine: my wireless connection to my computer worked great. The really cool wireless print server I installed a few days earlier worked fine. Everything was fine.

When I booted up this morning nothing worked. The most frustrating part was that my computer could "see" the network, but it wouldn't connect. I couldn't call Tech Support, IT, IS, or whatever it is called in most companies. I had to figure it out myself. And I wasn't going to waste my time on the phone with a tech support hotline since I didn't know who to call: Was it the wireless router? Laptop WIFI? Wireless Print Server? Software issue?

I probably spent three hours going through the usual Windows kludge/fix process: Uninstall. Reboot. Reconfigure. Reboot. Reinstall. Reboot. I am not a trained Windows expert, so it was a lot of trial and error as I guessed at the application, driver, or setting that was causing the problem. My guess is that a trained person still would have taken an hour just to go through all the boot cycles.

I did get everything working again, but it's frustrating wasting so much time on a problem but not really get anything accomplished for the day - it just got the system to where it was the night before, and I still don't know WHY it went out of wack.

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