And the award for oddest error this week goes to – Dell for their poke

A client called me and described an issue with their machine shutting down unexpectedly. Coming shortly after a recent flood at their site I wondered if we were seeing a residual problem but talked the user through removing power from the machine and pressing and holding the power button on their Optiplex 170L ( a pretty old machine by any standards but still going strong in some clients). The machine then posted and gave them the error message “Previous attempts at booting this sytem have failed at checkpoint”. I asked the user what was after the word checkpoint and thats where the strangeness arose. The client mentioned another error regarding a thermal problem displayed on the same screen and then answered my first question with the word “Poke”. (In Northern Ireland a poke is icecream served in a wafer – hence the surprise when this was read out)

I asked the user to clarify the message and they said that after the word checkpoint in square brackets was the word  [Poke] as shown. After scratching my head I arranged to go on site to check this and another issue and lo and behold the message was as the user had described much t0 other users mirth. I had to admit that it was the oddest error message this week – so the award definitely goes to Brigid this time.

The solution – upon researching this it looks likely to be motherboard or hardware related and the client is likely to replace this given the age of the machine.