True IT Blooper #54: Eager beaver loses his logs

Julian Spring
After months of complaining about his company's antiquated Microsoft mail application, anonymous system administrator John Smith finally got the big wigs to order him a copy of Exchange 2000.

Smith didn't have a real server available. So he installed the software on a makeshift workstation and began moving all clients over to the new mail system.

After a few weeks, "performance took a huge hit," Smith said. No surprise really, considering that one little workstation was handling mail for more than 150 users! Finally seeing the need to upgrade the hardware, management approved the purchase of a real server.

Smith was so excited when the new server arrived that he hastily deleted all the log files. He figured he'd be up and running on the new server that much sooner if there was less data to transfer.

"Boy, was I surprised to find out later that those logs were directly tied into my message database!" Smith said. In his frenzy of deletions, he'd destroyed the company's .edb files.

After four hours of intensive searches (and sweating) on using isninteg and various other commands, Smith finally managed to restore the data files.

Luckily for Smith, management never caught on to the mishap. They thought the problem was due to the workstation. Needless to say, regular backups are now a routine part of Smith's duties. As for log files, Smith won't touch them with a 10-foot pole.

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more of our past IT Blooper Series, which originially appeared at, part of the TechTarget network.

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