New net admin pilot fish at this university library is responsible for a set of networked CD-ROM databases. "We had PCs in every library on campus that were hooked into the network and could access the databases," fish says.

"The machines were somewhat locked down, and we used Ghost to ensure that the computers were set up in the same way."

When fish's boss wants some major improvements to the setup of the PCs, she gives the specs to fish, who works up a working version on a testbed machine and creates a Ghost image to copy to the other disks.

Then, instead of running all over campus to copy the image to each PC, fish adds a line to the log-on script to run Ghost. Then he calls all the librarians and instructs them to reboot the PCs. Once they're all done, fish removes the Ghost line from the log-on script.

Result: Everything is updated in a fraction of the time -- and with a fraction of the legwork for fish.

And it all looks perfect -- until fish gets a call from the help desk to head for a user's office.

"Someone -- my boss -- neglected to mention that some professors could log into our network from their own computers," says fish.

"This professor logged in at the wrong time and her laptop got hosed. Everything was gone, and she was livid!

"When I went to explain what happened, she cursed and screamed how she lost two years of work and threatened to sue me. I apologized, but it got her even more worked up.

"I'd had enough, so I said, 'When was the last time you backed up your data?' She got very quiet. I said, 'I'll take full responsibility for one week's lost work. I don't want to hear about two years of work down the drain.'

"Then I walked away. I never heard from her again."

Sharky wants to hear from you. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll walk away with a snappy Shark shirt if I use it..

Have a similar experience? Then add your comments to the daily Shark Tank blog!

Join Shark Bait

If you love Shark Tank, you'll have fun with Shark Bait, a place where you can really tear apart IT. Submit your own tech-related "baits" for points, or rate other baits. Leave comments, build your profile, and try to become one of the "big fish." Visit the Shark Bait site to get started.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon