You know the situation… you’re keeping lots of plates spinning, multi-tasking, generally having a productive day when you look down and realize that you have 87 windows open on your task bar…the Windows Weeds. In my particular situation I was about to install a Proliant Support Pack (a conglomeration of driver updates approved by HP for a particular server model). The order of events was as follows: [more]

  • Downloaded compressed PSP from HP website to a network location
  • Extracted PSP to a child folder on the network
  • Was planning to copy the extracted files from the network to a Temp directory on the terminal server I was working on to perform a local installation of the PSP
  • Received a support call for a different problem and turned my attention to that task for a while
  • Came back to the PSP task. On the terminal server to be updated, I saw that there was already a d:\cnx\temp folder that had what appeared to be my extracted PSP files in it. With so many windows and directories opened I thought I had already copied the extracted files over to the local directory before I got called away to the other task.
  • Upon installing the extracted PSP files from the local directory, several core networking components crashed rendering the teamed NICs on this server useless. Re-running the PSP as a whole as well as just installing the updated networking driver portion of the PSP did not help at all.

As it turns out, the directory and PSP files that were in d:\cnx\temp were created by another engineer during maintenance procedures several months ago. It was just coincidence that the same type of installation files (just an earlier version) were in the exact network location I was going to create…what are the odds?!? When extracted, PSP files from different versions look the same, so there was nothing to tip me off that I was actually installing an old (and also corrupted) PSP.

Lessons learned:

  1. Keep a tidy task bar
  2. Clean up old temp files when finished with them
  3. Question your presuppositions if things aren’t adding up (i.e. “I KNOW these are my PSP files”)
  4. The unlikely is still a possibility (ie. same files –just diff versions- in the same directory).