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whats the best explanation for random IT problems?

493 54 February 13, 2018 at 08:27 AM
A few random files for an important program suddenly started to get corrupted on my system last week. I re-generated the files and after two days of a corrupt/re-build cycle, no problems yet.

I know my boss will ask me for an explanation. I've normally just accepted as a truth that IT equipment has a mind of it's own and that Murphy's law is always in effect. I'm pretty sure my boss won't like that explanation. What's the best explanation for why things go wrong randomly like this?

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#2
hard drive going bad?

If it's really critical, then make sure you've got backups and try new system?
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#3
check the event log
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#4
to be specific, an executable for our VoIP server failed twice last week.
The hard drive seems to be in good shape according to a freebie hard disk analyzer (crystal disk info).

The event log showed:
Faulting application name: MailServ.exe, version: 21.84.5535.0, time stamp: 0x59e80e72
Faulting module name: KERNEL32.DLL, version: 6.3.9600.17415, time stamp: 0x545049be
Exception code: 0xc0000005
Fault offset: 0x0001427b
Faulting process id: 0x2970
Faulting application start time: 0x01d3a05c9aecb0c8
Faulting application path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Shoreline Communications\ShoreWare Server\MailServ.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\KERNEL32.DLL
Report Id: fadd5c49-0c51-11e8-813f-64006a50e18b
Faulting package full name:
Faulting package-relative application ID:
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#5
Have you gone into the RAID controller (typically its in the BIOS startup before the OS Boots up) and looked at the health of the drives?

I'm not sure if the freebie you downloaded would be able to talk to the raid controller and drives to find out what their "SMART" status is.
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#6
Electrical power issues are always a good magic smoke type explanation.
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#7
Quote from DC
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Have you gone into the RAID controller (typically its in the BIOS startup before the OS Boots up) and looked at the health of the drives?

I'm not sure if the freebie you downloaded would be able to talk to the raid controller and drives to find out what their "SMART" status is.
unfortunately, our budget is crap so it's a physical server with just one drive.
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#8
Quote from jkee
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Electrical power issues are always a good magic smoke type explanation.
lol, not sure if I can get away with that. We had some power issues in the past and once I took over, the first thing I did was get everything in our data closet on good UPSs.
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#9
1 server, 1 drive and let me guess no backups lol? You really do get what you pay for.

That is one of those classic cases where sometimes you should just let the cheap bastards get what is coming to them one day when they lose critical data because they did not what to spend a couple of grand on real hardware and backups\raid configs. Show them the right way, document it, and when they do not do it because they are cheap, your rear end is covered. Sometimes it takes a disaster to wake up cheapskates. Other times, no matter what you do they will never spend so why should you continue to try to cover up for their incompetence and be the fall guy for when things go south?


As to good excuses, power is not really going to fly unless you have a really awful setup. As I used to say, stuff happens and drives go bad\applications can cause faults, OS have bugs, etc. It is why backups are essential, raid is essential, having a good diagnostic routine in house is essential, having sms or other monitoring checks automated for % cpu util, disk util, etc are essential, warranty service, etc. All that costs money and manpower...again how critical is your data and you get what you pay for. Recyling periodically to clear out\reset memory is another trick that is often employed, esp on servers that may have apps on them that are flaky.
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Last edited by YanksIn2009 February 13, 2018 at 03:09 PM.
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#10
Quote from YanksIn2009
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1 server, 1 drive and let me guess no backups lol? You really do get what you pay for.

That is one of those classic cases where sometimes you should just let the cheap bastards get what is coming to them one day when they lose critical data because they did not what to spend a couple of grand on real hardware and backups\raid configs. Show them the right way, document it, and when they do not do it because they are cheap, your rear end is covered. Sometimes it takes a disaster to wake up cheapskates. Other times, no matter what you do they will never spend so why should you continue to try to cover up for their incompetence and be the fall guy for when things go south?
+1 Iagree
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#11
Quote from YanksIn2009
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That is one of those classic cases where sometimes you should just let the cheap bastards get what is coming to them one day when they lose critical data because they did not what to spend a couple of grand on real hardware and backups\raid configs. Show them the right way, document it, and when they do not do it because they are cheap, your rear end is covered. Sometimes it takes a disaster to wake up cheapskates. Other times, no matter what you do they will never spend so why should you continue to try to cover up for their incompetence and be the fall guy for when things go south?
Sounds like the kind of place where IT is seen as nothing but a cost center and the type of management that goes hand-in-hand with that philosophy will never admit to being wrong. You can document the hell out of this type of stuff and you'll still be the fall guy when the excrement hits the fan.
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#12
Quote from Noddy
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Sounds like the kind of place where IT is seen as nothing but a cost center and the type of management that goes hand-in-hand with that philosophy will never admit to being wrong. You can document the hell out of this type of stuff and you'll still be the fall guy when the excrement hits the fan.

Almost all places look at IT as a cost center. It is just a matter of the degree. Most companies are run by accountants and finance people and they look at IT the same way we look at choosing between two kids approaching us to cut our lawn (i.e, whoever is the cheapest).

I found that if you document the issues\short comings and note the potential consequences\that data is at risk you usually get one of two reactions...either someone in upper management gets scared that if things go south that they will now be blamed (or at least partially blamed) because IT warned them about it or no one still cares and you are no worse off for wear\they say no to fixing the problem and you get blamed anyway. Either way, trying to patch over their incompetence is just going to band-aid the problem until the day comes when the band aid is applied too late\the damage is done anyway. If you get stuck in that position, it is time to look for another place of employment as it is not a question of if but when and who really wants to work for a company whose management is that stupid and cheap? My 2 cents for what it is worth.
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#13
Start looking for another job 2 hard drives will cost less than 200.00 for consumer quality do a RAID 1 then use an inexpensive cloud service to back stuff up along with picking up a large 4-8TB drive to do backups to once a week and have the boss take it home so if the place burns down or floods you can get your stuff back.
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#14
not having a planned lifespan/support & maintenance contract for IT assets (hardware & software)
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#15
You have the answer don't you? MailServ.exe
Look for vendor patches and cross your fingers that it doesn't break anything else because I'm reasonably confident you don't have a test lab Smilie

You could at least get a list of fixes and see if anything matches your symptoms - then leave it to management to determine whether the risk of upgrade is worth it.

One thing I can guarantee you is that the problems are not random. Everything has a cause.
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