Virtual tech support
I had to look up the documentation online to take it out in the first place – thankfully I had another working computer. I would’ve never guessed that this little board with its series of circuits was removable. The tech support rep assured me it was indeed an FRU.
“A what?” I’d asked her, slightly annoyed, at that point. With her guidance, I had tried all manner of magical combinations of tapping F keys, pressing the start button 20 times and then holding for 30 seconds when the battery was removed to discharge the power. After it was confirmed that I did indeed have tools “handy” (true – traipsing down to the basement is more “handy” than driving to my closest company office so someone else could perform these rituals) she suggested I remove the hard drive and blow into the slot before replacing it. Still my machine wouldn’t boot.
“Field replaceable unit,” she informed me. So, we had taken it out, and tried to restart the computer. “That’s good,” she had said when we heard a series of beeps. “Now shut the machine off, replace the memory, and try powering it back up. I’ll document all this while you do that.”
Still no dice.
Doing your own tech support is one of the biggest drawbacks of telecommuting. Another is that you can never really escape your job. However, that day, given the fact that I was going to be offline for at least 24 hours, I did enjoy a surprise escape, as I was forced to put work aside and blessed with the opportunity to just take care of the kids and house. Sure, I’d have a lot to catch up on when I was back up and running, but as my manager said when informed him of my status, “It happens to all of us at one time or another.”