The Final Word On Passwords, Part 7

, , , | Right | September 5, 2020

I work at the corporate help desk for a mid-sized company with multiple locations and divisions. Thankfully, we can answer our help desk calls from home so I’ve been doing the work-from-home life for the past few months.

Caller: “I hit the wrong key and my computer locked up!”

Me: “Oh, no! Does it respond if you hit ctrl-alt-del?”

Caller: “Nope.”

I see this caller is from a location that uses thin clients – low-performance and remote-only computers that only work online.

Me: “Is this a computer or a thin client?”

Caller: “A thin client.”

This is a potential problem because I don’t have access to that division’s servers. If their session is hung up, someone with admin access will need to log them out from the server. I can do basic user account management, but they have their own IT staff to handle these calls. This caller hit the wrong button on the phone tree, but since I’m with corporate I always try my best to help them instead of passing them off.

Me: “Oh, hmm. I’m not sure what we can do. Does it respond when you click the start menu in the bottom corner?”

Caller: “I don’t see that. All I have is my name and ‘Password’.”

Me: “Oh… and it doesn’t respond when you type?”

Caller: “No, I just have never seen this screen before.”

Me: *Pause* “Have you… tried typing your password?”

Caller: “Which one?”

Me: “Your network password.”

Caller: *Types out loud* “U-s-e-r-n-a-m-e. That didn’t work.”

Me: *Pause* “It sounded like you typed in your username; you should type what you normally try after that.”

Caller: “Oh, okay!” *Tries* “Nope. Let me try… nope! Hmm. Maybe… Nope!”

Me: “Okay, you’re locked out; let me clear it. That confirms it is asking for your regular network password, though.”

Caller: “Okay! I got it, I’m in!”

Me: “…”

Score one for persistent troubleshooting techniques, I guess?

Related:
The Final Word On Passwords, Part 6
The Final Word On Passwords, Part 5
The Final Word On Passwords, Part 4
The Final Word On Passwords, Part 3
The Final Word On Passwords, Part 2

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