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20 off-the-wall emails from the technically clueless

End users sometimes ask the strangest questions. Here are 20 bizarre emails from users that either don't have a clue or didn't take the time to search before hitting send.
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By Bill Detwiler on
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1 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
Here at TechRepublic, our editors get lots of email--questions, compliments, criticism, and plenty of spam. We do our best to respond.
But sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we just can't decipher what the sender is asking for. And other times, what they're asking for is illegal, impractical, or just bizarre.?Here's a look at some of the more interesting ones. I've blacked out the names and email addresses to protect the innocent (or clueless).
Just know that my goal is not to discourage people from asking questions. Rather, I hope these emails encourage those with legitimate questions to do a little leg work before hitting the Send button. Browse the TechRepublic blogs and forums. Use our site search to find material relevant to your query. Or at the very least, enter your question into a search engine. If you're still unable to find a solution (and your not asking for an Windows XP CD key), then by all means, ask away.
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2 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
This email is a great example of someone making an impractical request, while at the same time being lazy. TechRepublic has tons of articles, free downloads, and even paid products to help members get the most from Excel. And there's ton more information around the Web. All you have to do is look.
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3 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
We get lots of requests for Windows product keys. But, this individual didn't even take the time to ask.
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4 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
For millionth time, no.
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5 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
This person wants to know if there is any information about Windows 2000 and Lotus notes on the Web. Nope. Nothing. Only MS DOS and Edlin.
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6 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
If I read this email correctly, this individual built a bare-bones computer and is having trouble with the monitor. So they can put the computer together, but can't troubleshoot a monitor problem?
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7 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
I think this individual wants to block the USB port on his Linux servers, but he wrote "to get access." I'm already confused.
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8 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
Here's a good example of someone who needs to be a bit more specific with their question. What links--email, websites, chat sessions? Are you having trouble with links on specific sites? All site? I would like to help this person. Honestly, I would. But, this is a computer troubleshooting rabbit hole.
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9 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
Another person that I would love to help, but I'm not exactly sure what they need. Is the password not working? Do they not know their user name? Did they try to use the recovery CD? Is the recovery CD from the vendor or a Windows recovery CD?
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10 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
I'm flattered. But, this can't be for real.
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11 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
I'm not sure what this member means by "Your stuff," but if his traffic isn't "that bad" then I'm sure he has nothing to worry about.
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12 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
This individual wants to know if an international project has ever failed due to a lack of project management? What more can I say?
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13 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
The individual has a few simple questions about the job market for netadmins in South Africa. TechRepublic has lots of IT career content, but there are entire books written about just the first two questions alone.
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14 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
This want to be the best system administrator possible. Please start by learning how to use a search engine.
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15 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
TechRepublic is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Unfortunately, I have to sleep.
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16 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
This person either wants a free registry cleaner (something a quick Web search would find) or wants us to clean out their registry at "NO CHARGE."
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17 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
I don't really know if this individual is asking a question or just ranting about his computer. And, what does he mean by Microsoft Voice--Voice Commands, Outlook Voice Access, Voice Recognition?
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18 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
This individual has a worn product code sticker and wants us to activate and validate his software from here.
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19 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
I don't even know where to begin with this one. Someone who's been a sysadmin for six months should have SOME idea about what type of hardware and software their company needs.
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20 of 20 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet
Apparently this newly-minted CCNA wants to know "more about the it industry."
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