IT blooper #46: Partial plug-in equals partial power

An IT specialist learns that partial power is possible in the Blooper Zone.

Allyson B. Miller, an IT specialist working in Washington D.C. arrived at her office one morning to the grumbling of her colleagues about a slow-running server.

Allyson went to the computer room to check for error messages. There were none. She checked the Ethernet card. Nothing there. Data was moving across the network without any errors or dropped packets. She scratched her head, wondering what to check next, when she noticed that the server rack was slightly askew. Behind the rack the power cord to the server was stretched taut and the plug -- just barely connected to the server -- was hanging at a 45-degree angle.

Apparently, the server was transported to the Blooper Zone earlier that day when a cabling crew working nearby bumped into the server rack and unwittingly jiggled the connection between the power cord and the power outlet.

Allyson asked all the users to log off, downed the server, re-attached the power cord, and then rebooted. The server worked fine. Lesson learned: Things are not always black or white in Blooperville. "I always thought you either had power or didn't," says Miller. "I never knew it was possible to have partial power!"

Share your bloopers with us. E-mail them to Read more of our past IT Blooper Series, which originially appeared at, part of the TechTarget network.

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