06 January 2010

My Crazy Morning

So this morning was pretty crazy for me, but not so much in an exciting way. First off, I woke up this morning 30 minutes late. This wouldn't be so much of a problem if I didn't have such a long commute and my normal wake-up time is the cutoff for how late I can wake up without being late to work. Granted, it was honestly my fault since I failed to identify that my alarm was in fact telling me that it was much past the time I was supposed to have gotten up and kept pressing snooze. As a result, I had to rush out the door to leave somewhat on time, skipping breakfast and instead having to take a protein bar in lieu of it.
On my way to work, I was feeling that "I'm-alert-but-not-able-to-respond-quick-enough" type of feeling you get from jolting awake and rushing around. I tried not to speed, but couldn't really control myself too well and know I probably broke the speed limit a few times. But, alas, all that rushing was for naught: as I drove onto the Ortega Highway (SR-74) about a mile, I was unhappily greeted by brake lights. Fortunately, traffic was moving, but definitely no faster than 10 MPH. Shortly after my initial slowing, I discovered the cause of the traffic as I saw that a big rig carrying a load of lumber and construction materials on a flat bed had toppled over (in fact, on my way home, I saw that, though the truck had been cleared and the road no longer was congested, some workers were still trying to clean up the debris). Fortunately the rest of the drive was not so bad.
As soon as I got to work and settled down, my boss came in to ask me if I knew how to make a USB flash drive bootable using a Windows 7 ISO copy that he had just purchased. I began to explain that I knew it was possible and that I had read about the process of making that a reality before, but needed to reference the article again. Shortly afterward, I found what I was looking for and requested from him the ISO and a USB flash drive. Noticing that there was data on it, I alerted him to the fact that I would copy the data off the drive and format it so that I could continue with the process. He gave the go ahead and I began copying the data to my local workstation. Within a minute, he told me that he had decided to instead try to burn the ISO to a DVD properly.
This, of course, prompted him to search the office for a workstation that could burn DVDs that was not in immediate use, and we found that 4 workstations were capable, mine excluded. Of the 4, 2 would be in use fairly soon and another was currently being decommissioned (and was actually the destination for the new install). However, one other system (a newer unit in our office, and the first to have Windows 7) was being used by our bookkeeper, who was only there occasionally. Wondering if the new system could burn DVDs, he turned it on, and it booted into it. However, he immediately ran into a problem when the system would not allow him to log into the office domain. It now became my problem.
Doing a little problem determination, I discovered that the newest machine, a new workstation for my coworker, was misnamed during its application to the domain, using the same name as this existing system, causing a naming conflict in the domain. As a result, the system was now unable to log in. I felt that this was a somewhat easy problem to resolve, and all I would need to do to fix the problem would be to log into the system using the local administrator account. No big deal, right? Wrong. I discovered, after about 5 minutes of trying, that I was unable to log in as user "Administrator." Figuring that the password was probably entered incorrectly during the initial setup of the system, I tried to change the password, finding that I was unable to do so.
I don't remember exactly how I had this epiphany, but I figured that maybe the administrator account wasn't named "Administrator," and possibly named something else. I decided to restart into Ubuntu 8.04 (I did not have the newest version at the moment and didn't want to wait to burn the newest 9.10 CD) and poke around the drive to see what I could find for the accounts the computer has seen. I discovered that the local Windows 7 administrator account name had in fact been changed during the initial setup, and I wrote down the new username.
Upon rebooting, however, I discovered that Ubuntu had not properly unmounted the drive, causing Windows 7 to be unable to boot. I tried restarting the system several times without any luck. Going into recovery mode for the system, it too was reported that it was unable to fix the issue, however another reboot allowed the system to jump right in without a hitch. Strange... Well, I managed to get to the Windows 7 log-on screen, entered the local administrator username, but now came time to figure out why the passwords that were used for administrative accounts did not work. I began to worry that we had locked the system out without a way to recover it (password reset didn't work on the system since we didn't have a password reset disk). In frustration, I entered the username and left the password field blank, and viola, the system let me right in. I promptly changed the administrative password, removed the workstation from the domain, rebooted, and re-added the workstation to the domain again, rebooted, and presto everything was back to normal.
Needless to say, there was a lot not going very well for me this morning, but luckily I was able to think quickly and somewhat out-of-the-box to find good solutions to the problems I faced. I was just really surprised with the rate the flood of problems came pouring my way. And to think, this all happened before 11am; it was definitely my ordinary Wednesday, let alone the first Wednesday of the new year, and I hope it is not a sign of things to come.

No comments: