Now THAT'S secured data!

Field technician pilot fish is called in to replace a laptop motherboard at an office with a much higher than normal level of security -- "complete with an escort, ID cards and fingerprint scanners at every door," fish says.

"But afterwards, when the work was done and I tried booting to the OS, it instead showed a no-hard-drive-present error. I removed and reinserted the hard drive and tried again. Still nothing. I ran the built-in diagnostics and it said everything was operating normally."

Fish checks the BIOS, and everything looks the way it should. He reopens the laptop to check the cable connections from the drive to the motherboard, but they look fine. He even swaps another cable from a working laptop to see if the cable is the problem -- but he gets the same error message.

He calls the manufacturer support line, and spends an hour trying different configurations and running additional diagnostics to find out why it won't boot. But no matter how much troubleshooting he does, there's no indication as to what isn't working.

Just as he's about to tear his hair out, the client comes in asking how it's going. Fish explains the situation and tells her he's just about to escalate the issue.

That's when the client turns red-faced. She explains that because fish's security level isn't high enough, she replaced the employee's hard drive with an unformatted one for the repair, but neglected to inform him.

Sighs fish, "Then she took the laptop to another room, swapped out the hard drive and rebooted. She came back and reported that the laptop worked perfectly and that my job was done.

"I left with my blood pressure just a tad higher. Isn't paranoia a wonderful thing?"

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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