Archive for August 27th, 2004

Friday, August 27th, 2004 | LiveJournal Archives | 1 Comment

It’s the last day before the semester starts and of course this is when things inevitablly go wrong. We’ve had a really good track record the last three semesters running, so it’s only fate that brings this semester to our knees.

We re-image all the machines every semester. This is so that they are clean and uncontaminated, and so that they have the latest greatest software. This semester was going great on the rebuild until Wednesday. I got the image for the PCs all updated and functional and pushed it out to the systems. When it finished, 12 didn’t boot. We determined they were all from the same lot and must have a hardware conflict. For four hours, we tried to repair the problem, but finally resorted to installing Windows back onto one and updating with SP2 and windows update. Things are good with that one now. We pulled the image and pushed it out to the other 11 and of those, 4 didn’t boot. They are from the same batch, but have a different video card, so there’s a driver issue and we couldn’t even get into safe mode or anything to reinstall it. So I’m now reinstalling windows on those 4. Next semester I’m at least going to insist that we buy all matching video cards for our lab machines.

Anyway, so while we’re in the middle of all that, we have a second batch of lab computers that get a slightly different image that includes some special software, software that needs to be configured special after the re-imaging. We started to push out that image, to all 22 machines at once, and, of course, it stops half way through. We end up having to cancel the push and start it all over, only this time the machines won’t connect to the network in order to recieve the image. We try all kinds of things to get them to connect and then I run into Steve who comments that a system downstairs is not talking to the network. We run some other tests and it seems we’re not connecting at all. I try to call HelpDesk, who manages the campus networking (where we manage our own school’s networking) and the phone won’t even connect. WTF? So I call them on the cell and tell them we’re landlocked from campus.

Shortly after, connectivity seems to come back and we’re now back on track with our imaging. Nick and Steve are off eating right now and I’m typing this with crossed fingers hoping the cast will complete.

Oh, and to top it all off, I need to congratualte and berate zero_interruptNick for getting a new job and leaving me right when I need him the most. He’s moving across campus and I’ll be without a lab tech right at the most critical week of the year. Oh well, congratulations you bastard.

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August 2004