Dumb Tech Mistakes

After confessing one of his own mistakes, Crazy4laptops asked the Windows forum about other members' "not so smart moments with computers?"

I thought I'd share two of mine:

1) I once beta-tested a new backup program (this was in the late 1980s when we backed up to floppies) and liked it so much I started using it regularly. I forgot it was not a finished product. A year or so later, I lost everything on my hard drive. Then I discovered that I couldn't recover anything from the backup.

The moral: Don't use beta software as if it was the real thing.

2) In my last months of suffering with dial-up Internet access, I kept losing my connection. I spent hours on the phone with my ISP and my phone company, and no one could identify the problem. I changed modems and that didn't help. I changed OSes and that didn't help, either. Then DSL became available in my neighborhood (hooray!) and I gladly gave up the dial tone. While the techs were installing the DSL, one asked if I had a phone cord to connect the line to the DSL modem. I handed him the one I had been using for dial-up. He took one look at it and rejected it. It was worn out and unreliable.

That's when I learned that, when troubleshooting, you should always check the cheapest, easiest-to-replace link in the chain first.

Read the original forum discussion for other people's confessions.

Add your comments to this article below. If you have other tech questions, email them to me at answer@pcworld.com, or post them to a community of helpful folks on the PCW Answer Line forum.

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