Sysad Discovers Backup Server Stuck in Recovery Prompt Since 2010

By madumlao

A system administrator for a software company recently discovered a backup server that has been stuck in the “recovery mode” prompt since 2010.

“I was looking for a spare hard disk and noticed the extra box at the back of our server rack. I was half-way through unscrewing the case when I noticed it was still plugged in”, said the sysad on Friday.

Further investigation reveals that the server was named “cameron” and that it was last powered on in 2010. All of the servers that it was supposed to be backing up have since been decommissioned.

“We actually have a spreadsheet of servers somewhere, and it was listed as active. Apparently, nobody in the tech team knew that it was missing.”

Upon finding a VGA to HDMI converter and connecting the machine, the sysad discovered that the server was stuck in the recovery mode prompt.

Please give Root password for maintenance (or press Ctrl+D to continue):

However, nobody in the company could remember the root password.

“I think it had something to do with Avatar. We’ve already tried ‘aang234’ and ‘bender’ but no joy”, said the system administrator, who shrugged, then pressed Ctrl+D. The server successfully resumed booting, and, after a mind-boggling 7 years, finished.

Minutes later, several hundred emails of failed backup jobs flooded the administrator’s inbox.

This sets another record for Linux as having the second-longest boot time next to GNU Hurd.