• (cs) in reply to gwenhwyfaer
    even Windows is long past the days when it would randomly corrupt partition tables and/or bits of disk.

    Actually, this happened to me about a week ago. One moment I was running XP x64 edition, the next my pc was frozen (rare, but still happens). After I restarted my bios politely reported a hard-disk read error. Booting some recovery tools revealed that my 239GB NTFS partition had suddenly decided to be a FATv1 (720k floppy, partition type 0 IIRC) partition instead...

    Suffice to say, I fixed it using the linux install on my second hdd. Apparently the disk had a working backup partition table on it somewhere, but the bios wasn't clever enough to load it. Incidentally, that copy of linux no longer boots now, it freezes just before it starts doing the [OK] [OK] [OK] bit

  • Neil (unregistered) in reply to Saladin

    Nothing but stupid undergrads that click every banner saying "will you be my friend?  Click here!"


    What are these "banners" of which you speak?


    (seriously folks, Firefox has been able to block ads and malware for HOW many years?  When I am made CIO, I will BAN IE - period!) 

  • beaudetious (unregistered) in reply to Saladin

    As someone who worked in IT throughout school and college, it's more common than you'd think to see the straight-laced professor with porn in his browsing history.  Like, a lot of it.  The less computer-savvy ones don't even know how to cover their tracks either.  Granted, the fact that this was a woman with a 14-year-old son makes it less likely that it was her but I've seen stranger things.


    I can still remember the time one of our professors at my WTFU alma mater claimed that the umpteen MB's of pregnant, lactating women porn was not his doing.  He blamed it on the poor undergraduate student who sometimes used his computer to write papers.  Of course, I had to view 'em before we deleted them to make sure we werent' deleting any important files.  Just doing my job.


  • Neil (unregistered) in reply to Neil

    Actually - if you think about it, helpdesk-support is very much like being an emergency-room physician (and trust me, they DON'T teach you this stuff in CIS ethics class! they should!)

    Who does a guy go to for discrete assistance, when he's shoved a lightbulb up his keister and it breaks?  And does the emergency-room doctor as discretely as possible, handle this "problem" (for which he is paid handsomely)?  Sure.  Then the emergency-room doctor, who is a professional, TELLS the guy - bums are not for lightbulbs!  Should be the same way for IT "professionals" - if you're too embarrassed to HELP the guy with his usage problem (because that's what it is), then OF COURSE you're going to have him come to you with the broken lightbulb in his keister again.


    Or - maybe IT professionals need to be trained, and paid, like doctors. 

    (Sorry, my services aren't covered on your cheap-ass HMO.) 

  • Frank (unregistered)

    This is in no way a surprising story... any sufficiently large organization with a "help desk" will suffer this same problem... they (those chanrged with maintaing the PCs) believe (a) the user community is a bunch of morons (which, by and large, is sadly a reasonably accurate assumption), and (b) there is no sense in trying to do things right because the morons are just going to screw it up again, so better to just do it fast (I believe Mr. Incredible said it best: "No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get itself in trouble again").

     Where I work, I can tell you a story about one time I had some code I was working on, and I hadn't saved in 10 minutes or so and had to run to the bathroom... now, yeah, I probably should have saved, but you can't figure on someone from the 'help desk" coming around to all the PCs in the area and just shutting them down by hitting the power button because they needed to get everyone off the network for some such reason.

    I've been lucky to this point that I've been able to slip udnerneath the radar and maintain my own PC... then again, I know what I'm doing and can handle it, have never let any nasties onto the PC or the network, etc.  You certainly can't count on everyone to be able to do that... heck, you can't even count on every DEVELOPER being able to do that, even though they presumably have functioning brain cells than the average bear.  Even still, every time I see the "help desk" trying to force an update down, I figure out how to stop it and apply it myself if it's applicable (and usually it is).  You just can't trust them to do things right, any more than you can trust an average user to maintain their own PC.

  • Slippery Jim (unregistered) in reply to KattMan

    Of course if this were pr0n of the bean bag girl, the tech support team was proper for chastising the OP.  Shame on him for wanting all that for himself!



    What's a bean bag girl? 

  • Slippery Jim (unregistered) in reply to Slippery Jim

    Of course if this were pr0n of the bean bag girl, the tech support team was proper for chastising the OP.  Shame on him for wanting all that for himself!



    What's a bean bag girl? 


    Oh wait - never mind. Never looked at the ads before.



  • (cs) in reply to Kiss me, I'm Polish

    Yeah. Great suggestion. Use another OS, just because you want to surf for porn. On a company laptop.

    Forget all the business software that runs only on Windows. It should be ported to the other OS. It's not? Too bad. Downloading porn is more important.

    Using another OS does not imply getting rid of Windows.  Now that virtualization software is available for the cost of a download and disk space - both of which are generally amply available to the average pr0nonaut - there's no real need to choose one OS to the exclusion of all others.

    Many people (developers and testers in particular) even have genuine buisness reasons for installing virtualization software.  It can be very handy for testing, since it's easy to revert back to a known state for testing the latest build of whatever you're working on.

    The legalities, ethics, and tastefulness of the matter aside, if someone's going to poke about the more dangerous corners of the 'net, doing it with a locked-down OS in a virtual machine is a good choice.


  • (cs) in reply to ssprencel

    Also, browser logs are easy to change.  If he's as smart as you think he is, he might just be deleting the logs.


    Or using PGPDisk to create a file that you can mount as, say, Z:, creating a Netscape profile on that disk, deleting the profile from the list (but not the files) in the NS profile manager each time you're done, and recreating it each time you want it telling it to use the existing files on the PGP disk.

    Or something.

  • Canadian Coward (unregistered)

    I used to work at a fair sized computer shop when I was in high school as a tech. We once had a father/son bring in the son's pc to have it looked at, it was a fairly new machine. If I remember correctly they had purchased it a few weeks before.  It was absolutely loaded with gay porn!!!

    I could not keep a straight face when the kid returned to pick it up.


  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Canadian Coward

    I used to work at a fair sized computer shop when I was in high school as a tech. We once had a father/son bring in the son's pc to have it looked at, it was a fairly new machine. If I remember correctly they had purchased it a few weeks before.  It was absolutely loaded with gay porn!!!

    I could not keep a straight face when the kid returned to pick it up.

    Why, asked him out? :-P

  • mnature (unregistered) in reply to Earl Purple

    Why are there not more attractive intelligent women working as developers?

    Why are there not more attractive intelligent men working as developers?  Who maybe don't live in their mother's basements?  And don't spend their spare time surfing for porn?


  • Soulbender (unregistered) in reply to Earl Purple

    "Why are there not more attractive intelligent women working as developers?"

    Taking a few moments to contemplate on the average developer, his view on women and his maturity level the answer should be obvious.

  • NancyBoy (unregistered)

    This WTF reminds me how much I detest IT support departments.

  • paulc (unregistered)

    there's only one sure fire way to clean things up after a porn ninja has been on your computer... dust off and nuke it from orbit.... that's why you should keep your important data on another partition...

    XP - unsafe on the information highway at any speed...

    the only way to safely browse with windows is to use a fresh vmware image for every session...

    keep a known good one write protected, and copy from that every time you want to launch it.

    There is a simpler method though, don't do windows...

  • tncbbthositg (unregistered) in reply to doc0tis


    I'm certain that ninja broke into my house too ;-)





    Yeah, a ninja breaks into my house every night around 10:30!



  • Bean Bag Boy (unregistered) in reply to KattMan

    > Of course if this were pr0n of the bean bag girl, the tech support team was proper for chastising the OP.  Shame on him for wanting all that for himself!

    Can't you read?  It's a SUMO bean bag, not NINJA.

    (She's mine! All mine!!!)


  • mouseover (unregistered) in reply to RevEng
    phx (who forgot to login):

    Killing and reenabling System Restore erases all the files most hacker trojans push onto the machine. These are files that can't be deleted manually. You have to modify several desktop.ini files even to be able to see them.


     Whiskey *ksssshk* Tango *ksssssshk* Foxtrot *kssshk* Over.

    Documented in *ksssshk* MSDN *ksssssshk* KB *kssshk* Over and out.

    Got a KB# for us?

    Besides, just because something is documented on MSDN doesn't mean it's accurate, or even works.  I've seen a few things running from the Temporary Internet Files (i.e. the IE cache), but never anything in System Restore.  Almost all spyware/trojans/etc. that I've seen copy themselves elsewhere, like windows\system32, or \program files, or some random folder therein.  Clearing System Restore and the Temporary Internet Files isn't going to clean these up.  Hell, Microsoft Antispyware and the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool don't clean up half of the nastier stuff.  For every well known trick there's five more ways of sneaking in (and I've seen some beauties).

    Sorry, just got back to this. Here's one KB link:


    See also, http://www.symantec.com/security_response/writeup.jsp?docid=2006-062116-1459-99&tabid=3

  • Jolly Roger (unregistered) in reply to SagetFan

    I'm guessing they started calling this woman Cleopatra...

  • Jolly Roger (unregistered) in reply to SagetFan

    Sorry, meant to quote this for the above. 

    Reminds me of a story I heard waay back in the day when I worked for customer support at a satellite TV provider.

    Some lady called complaining that she was being charged for pay-per-view porn movies she claimed nobody ordered.  The rep explained that you can't really "accidentally" order a movie, and offered to help her turn on content blocking.  Also, to be nice, he refunded the amount of the movies.

    The next month, she called back.  She was insistent that nobody in her house could be ordering these movies.  She was given another refund.

    The third month, she explained the reason why it was impossible that anyone could have ordered the movies, "These are all ordered in the afternoon.  I'm at work then, and so is my husband.  The only person in the house is our 15-year old son."

    That's when they stopped giving her refunds.

  • vDave (unregistered) in reply to joe_bruin

    They say that sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.  Nowhere is this more clear than corporate IT.


    very nice...


  • Sharkie (unregistered)

    I don't see this as a WTF but instead a SOP...  In 15+ years, I've never known an MIS/IT or Help Desk department to actually know their keister from a hole in the ground concerning PC's, laptops or Windows.  It goes along with most employees knowing that when you need help, calling the Help Desk is the last thing anyone sane should do.  They'll basically make your problem 10x worse and leave you with less than you started with.

    I'm not sure if it's true ignorance, a need for job security or whathaveyou.. but it's a consistent pattern.  Sometimes I think all the MCSE's have a mailing list or secret society meetings where they enforce their pact of blazing incompetence in order to keep slack.

    Along with seeing similar things daily, some other chucklers I've experienced in the past 2 years:

    1) An LCD was replaced four times due to "blurry" text.  By the fifth replacement, I walked in and set the resolution at it's native resolution vs. 800x600.

    2) A dual-homed Linux server with only SSHD port open was declared a "security problem" for a host of remote programmers needing telnet access to servers behind it.  Some of the remote users were satellite and dial-up users, which is fine for ssh->tunnel->telnet.  To secure the problem, a cluster of SBS 2003 servers were added, running IIS, Terminal Services, host of other services and a few XP pro boxes behind them with Remote Desktop.  Users were forced to either RWW to a local XP box or use terminal services.  Satellite and dial-up users were told to upgrade to broadband and upgrade their remote PC's.  Important stuff for 80x25 telnet users.  The cluster of SBS 2003 servers has been hacked/shut down about 13 times the past 4 months and need to be rebooted about once a month to "synchronize" things.  The Linux/SSHD server had an uptime of 397 days.

    3) I've seen several PC's returned due to sluggish windows performance.  Of course the real problem was a yellow "! VGA Adapter" in the device manager as they failed to install the chipset and video drivers.

    4) PC's waiting weeks for "hard disk upgrade", when on closer inspection have 197MB free of C:. 126GB free on D:, but My Documents sitting on C:


  • Richard (unregistered)

    The ENTIRE desktop support team needs to be sacked.


  • tq (unregistered)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    [image]She called up Desktop Support to inquire about this and, more importantly, if they were able to save any of her documents/bookmarks.

    A software developer's boss doesn't have the sense to do backups?  No, this story doesn't pass the smell test. Someone's yanking our chains. I'm cynical, but not that cynical.

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