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Crazy questions that stump the help desk

Readers relate their wacky experiences with users seeking help for the strangest things.

By David Ramel
October 24, 2006 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - We received quite a few funny responses to our article about strange questions we received through our Web site help desk feature ("Readers ask: Bizarre help desk questions we just can't answer").

Below we've included some of the best ones. We've kept the last names of the readers anonymous, but thanks to Brian Y., Len K., Ganesh K. and James H.

And if you can top these, please send your stories to me, David Ramel, at, and I may share them in a future article.

Just following directions

I work on a help desk in Philadelphia.

I was using a tool to remote control into one of my user's computers, which for security purposes requires the user to click a "Yes" pop-up button in order to allow me access onto their computer.

So I told the user to "say yes when you see the prompt on the screen." However, after a minute, I still did not have access. It turns out that the prompt was still on the user's screen, because instead of clicking the "Yes" prompt, she had said the word "Yes."

-- Brian Y.

No idea what this is about

sir can u help me i a project
that we have make a application of
car control throw computer

-- Len K.

Copying across the void

My manager was sitting in the server room and breaking his head. When I entered, he asked me to solve his problem.
He explained, "I'm trying to copy files from old server to new server. I am able to copy the files, but not able to paste them onto the new folder."

When I "researched" I [found out] that he was using on the keyboard of the old server, and using on the keyboard of the new server. Both were different machines with different keyboards and he expected copy/paste to work "across" machines.

Tired mouse

The same manager asked me to solve his "mouse" problem another day. He said that due to shortage of testing machines, one of his subordinates ran a test automation script on his PC.

Since the "mouse moved around" too much, it must have got "tired" and hence was not functioning properly. I was amused to hear this. Then I figured out, he saw the mouse cursor move all over the screen when the automation script was running. He thought that the mouse was also physically moving and that caused it to malfunction. I just removed the mouse-ball and cleaned the dust and it started working fine.

But the manager still thinks that his assumption was right.

More fun with mice

One of my colleagues wanted to fool around with me, so she removed the mouse-balls from my mouse at work. I was not at my desk when she did that.

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