Friday, July 24, 2015

Tech Support Broke My Computer Part 2

So, yeah, there's a part 2

I wandered in to work this morning a little before 7:00. I got pulled in to a production issue last night, and
while I am generally not a skilled sleeper under normal conditions, stress tends to make it a little worse. The end result was going to bed late, and getting up way too early. What else could I do? So, I packed up my crap and headed in to the office. 
Round about quarter to 8, an email came across my phone. Remember, my computer's dead, so I'm keeping touch via my handy dandy Nexus 6. The email is a follow-up to my complaint that my computer was dead. I was instructed to call the help desk immediately. I'm a good little drone, so that's what I did. After waiting for a bit (which seemed odd to me at that time of day) I got a guy on line who was all ready to fix me up. We went through the protocol, I had to prove my location, prove my identity, and then on to the troubleshooting. He assures me that this should only be a few minutes, and we're off. 
If you've never been through the Bitlocker recovery key exercise, it goes a little something like this:
Tech Support Dude: Please give me the first 8 characters of the Bitlocker identifier.
Me: Ok, xxxxxxxx
TSD: One Moment, please, while I get your recovery key...a few minutes later...That didn't seem to work. Are you certain the 0 is an 0 and not an O?
M: No, I'm not at all certain. I am certain that what ever it is, all of them are the same. 
TSD: Ok, cool. I'll bet it's an O...a few minutes later...Nope, it was a 0, and we can't find a key.
M: Oh, shit.
TSD: Yeah, I'm sorta thinking the same thing myself. Hang on a minute while I talk to my supervisor.
M: Ok, no problem. 
TSD: ...after a few minutes... Ok, we'll call the Bitlocker support. We've had this happen before, but we'll be able to generate a master recovery key. Can you read me the full bazillion character identifier?
M: Sure...and I read off the full bazillion character identifier.
TSD: several minutes later...Are you sure that was correct? Let me read it back to you.
M: Yup, that's it.
TSD: Jesus Christ. I haven't seen this happen before. We can't generate a key.
Finally, we come to the conclusion that my hard drive is hosed, and we're going to have to replace it completely. We got the process rolling, and by noon I had my computer back with a brand new hard drive. Monday I get to go through the exercise of reinstalling all my tools. No biggie, I'm up and running, and reasonably certain that even when new my computer didn't perform this well. I guess that's ultimately a win in my column. 
The part that leaves me wondering is whether all of this was worth the cost of my down time, the cost of 4 tech support people, and a hard drive, or would it have been cheaper to give me the new laptop I requested?