Tales from our helpdesk

Tales from our helpdesk

  • Finding files created by colleagues now furloughed

    Our helpdesk received an urgent request from a customer - find a really important spreadsheet. It was created by a colleague who is now on furlough and can’t be contacted. Without it they couldn’t bill their clients! The only thing they could tell us about it was that it probably had “Shoe” in the name...

    This client has 30 terabytes of data spread across 5 file servers in 4 locations. They also have a well partitioned folder structure with locked down permissions.

    The built in Windows Search is useless for this task as it will only display results for folders you have access to.

    We know a clever trick for searching for files: use a utility that reads the Master File Table (MFT) directly, such as WizFile. We found it in less than 30 minutes. It didn't even have “Shoe” in the name in the end.

    Your organization deserves a highly skilled competent support team like telanova.

  • Tales from our helpdesk: Encrypted files

    Encrypting files is a really useful mechanism for protecting sensitive information. But there’s a risk that you might not be able to access the information in the future. Here’s a tale from our frontline support team.

  • Tales from our helpdesk: Is changing a router just like a light bulb?

    What’s the difference between changing a light bulb and changing a router...?

    BT told our customer to unplug their old router and plug in the new one; just like changing a light bulb.

    Our customer called us asking why the internet was down, no one could print and their WiFi had disappeared!

    We dispatched an engineer immediately and asked him to leave the issue with us. He could focus on his business while we sorted it all out. We set up the new router the same as the old router and got everything running.

    Contact us if you want to get on with what you're good at and leave the IT to us.

  • Tales from our helpdesk: Mr. S. Claus...

    Our helpdesk received a call from Mr. S. Claus, who wanted some help with his important deadline coming up.

    His business was manufacturing/direct delivery - all year long he stays at his headquarters, in the Arctic, but once a year he travels all over the world, delivering to his clients.  His old email service, provided by his ISP, was straining under the volume of email from clients (mostly children) with what they wanted in this year.  He needed to change to reliable email system, able to cope with the huge number of emails  and he wanted to change quickly.

  • Tales from our helpdesk: New client with system grinding issue

    We recently won a new client with a very serious issue. Every day, every hour on the hour for 15 minutes their whole system would come to a grinding halt. Employees couldn’t send emails, take calls or do their job! Basically, the employees were only able to work for 75% of the day. Their previous IT provider had given up trying to fix this issue.

    We ran extensive diagnostics and discovered their antivirus was causing their server to become non-responsive! Uninstalling the antivirus and re-installing the latest version rectified the issue allowing their employees to work 100% of the day.

    If you would like to talk to us about how we can help your business please get in touch.

  • Tales from our helpdesk: Turning the mountain back into a molehill

    Recently a customer called up our helpdesk in a panic. “Everything’s down!”

    We quickly established that the power was on in the building, and all the devices showed the appropriate green lights, so it seemed that everything ought to be working, except that it wasn’t. They didn’t have a connection to the internet, and in today’s environment that is everything.

    After asking the right questions our helpdesk discovered that some contractors had been onsite, and they had unplugged some cables to get access to a wall. The customer thought the contractors had plugged them back in correctly.

    We had our doubts and dispatched an engineer, who quickly spotted a missing cable, connected everything properly and got them back up and running.

    That’s what we do. Fix things promptly and effectively, not making a big deal out of a crisis.

  • Tales from our helpdesk: website blocked abroad

    Due to the pandemic a staff member at one of our customers was stuck in Germany and called our helpdesk with a major issue they were experiencing. Part of their job role is keeping abreast of industry specific research for which they pay a large subscription fee to access a particular website. But when they accessed the site in Germany they got this error:

    “Access Denied - you are not authorized to access this site from outside the UK”

    There are a couple of technical ways to get round this kind of region block:

    1. Connect back to a device in the UK (via remote desktop, TeamViewer etc) and then access the website - Unfortunately this customer did not have any spare devices in the UK that could be used.
    2. Use a VPN provider (like people use to stream US Netflix) - Among numerous other issues, this would risk the provider blocking their whole business.

    Before trying a technical solution we suggested that they first contact the website provider to see if there were any other options. After explaining the situation the service provider created a separate account under the German wing of the site free of charge! A much better outcome than any technical solution.

    If you would like a helpdesk that gives sound, practical IT advice, not just techie solutions.

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