Former students often brag about how they slept through American History or some such course and still passed with ease.
This simply isn't the case with students in IT classes, said Sherman Ackley, a university IT professor and network administrator.
His proof is what he calls the Case of Mr. Sleepy. This particular student habitually slept during class, missing parts of lectures here and there.
One night Sherman gave a lecture on backing up a CMOS. He went over the procedures in detail, including the important fact that testing on more than one machine requires that the systems and CMOS data be the same.
Unfortunately, Mr. Sleepy couldn't keep his eyes open during these crucial minutes. He nodded off.
But the student still forged ahead at home. He decided the portions of the lecture he had heard were enough to test and "learn" at home.
Sleepyhead had a Compaq desktop and HP desktop at home.
"As we all know, the machines are completely different," Sherman said. "The student took his backed-up CMOS data and decided to test the other machine. He proceeded to FDISK the hard drive to remove the partitions."
The student figured that when he "restored" the CMOS, all the data, partitions and setting would magically reappear. Wrong.
The student tried and tried but couldn't get the CMOS to restore the original settings.
"He came to class and boldly stated that I must have made a mistake in my lecture because he did 'exactly' what I had stated in the previous lecture," Sherman said. "After regrouping and stifling a laugh, I asked the student to walk me and the rest of the class though everything he had done."
When the student finished, Sherman asked what types of PCs he used. Then Sherman turned to the whole class.
"I asked the class their thoughts," Sherman said. "And just about everyone agreed it was not possible to use CMOS saves from different types of machines."
Sherman asked if the class remembered him going over this very information, and everyone but Mr. Sleepy had a recollection.
The fouled-up back-up exercise didn't result in the loss of important information. The machine the student erased wasn't his -- it was his children's play machine.
"At least his priorities are in the right place," Sherman said. "Experiment with someone else's machine."
Share your bloopers with us. E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more of our past IT Blooper Series, which originially appeared at SearchWin2000.com, part of the TechTarget network.