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    PEBCAK & Episode V

    | Vancouver Island, BC, Canada | Technology

    (Note: I provide desktop support for a division of the Canadian government.)

    Caller: “My computer is frozen. I’ve tried everything and it just doesn’t respond…” *describes what’s on the screen*

    Me: “Okay, we can fix that.”

    (A bit of troubleshooting transpires.)

    Caller: “No, it’s still not doing anything.”

    Me: “Okay, we will try a hard power off. Hold down the power button on the tower until the computer turns off, and then press it again to turn it back on.”

    (The caller answers almost immediately, which is a tad fast as it takes about 5 seconds for the tower to power off usually.)

    Caller: “Okay, I did that. It’s still the same.”

    Me: “What do you mean it’s still the same?”

    Caller: “Nothing has changed. It’s just like it was before I turned it off. I know what I’m doing; I’m good with computers. I use one at home all the time, too.”

    Me: “…So, you completely turned the computer off by holding down the power button and when you turned it back on you didn’t have to log on or enter a password, and all your applications showed up still frozen?”

    Caller: “Yes, that’s it exactly. I don’t understand what’s going on! I’m good with computers. I use one at home all the time, too.”

    (I ask a couple more questions before giving up fixing it over the phone. As she works in the same building as I do, I tell her that I’ll be up to see her in a few minutes. I walk in to see her holding down the power button and a blank screen.)

    Caller: “I thought that if I held it down for longer it might be better.”

    Me: *bites tongue* “Okay, well what we need to do—”

    Caller: “See?!” *the screen lights up* “Exactly the same as before I shut it all down!”

    Me: “Okay, but that is the monitor. We need to shut down the computer…”

    Related:
    PEBCAK & Episode IV