Funny excuses for why your stuff is broken

These are the funniest excuses for why software or hardware isn't working. Feel free to use these justifications, for slacking off or not being able to predict the future, at work, but don't complain to me if you get dirty looks and/or fired :)

clock speed

solar flares

electromagnetic radiation from satellite debris

static from nylon underwear

static from plastic slide rules

global warming

poor power conditioning

static buildup

doppler effect

hardware stress fractures

magnetic interference from money/credit cards

dry joints on cable plug

we're waiting for [the phone company] to fix that line

sounds like a Windows problem, try calling Microsoft support

temporary routing anomaly

somebody was calculating pi on the server

fat electrons in the lines

excess surge protection

floating point processor overflow

divide-by-zero error

POSIX compliance problem

monitor resolution too high

improperly oriented keyboard

network packets travelling uphill (use a carrier pigeon)

Decreasing electron flux

first Saturday after first full moon in Winter

radiosity depletion

CPU radiator broken

It works the way the Wang did, what's the problem

positron router malfunction

cellular telephone interference

techtonic stress

piezo-electric interference

(l)user error

working as designed

dynamic software linking table corrupted

heavy gravity fluctuation, move computer to floor rapidly

secretary plugged hairdryer into UPS

terrorist activities

not enough memory, go get system upgrade

interrupt configuration error

spaghetti cable cause packet failure

boss forgot system password

bank holiday - system operating credits not recharged

virus attack, luser responsible

waste water tank overflowed onto computer

Complete Transient Lockout

bad ether in the cables

Bogon emissions

Change in Earth's rotational speed

Cosmic ray particles crashed through the hard disk platter

Smell from unhygienic janitorial staff wrecked the tape heads

Little hamster in running wheel had coronary; waiting for replacement to be Fedexed from Wyoming

Evil dogs hypnotised the night shift

Plumber mistook routing panel for decorative wall fixture

Electricians made popcorn in the power supply

Groundskeepers stole the root password

high pressure system failure

failed trials, system needs redesigned

system has been recalled

not approved by the FCC

need to wrap system in aluminum foil to fix problem

not properly grounded, please bury computer

CPU needs recalibration

system needs to be rebooted

bit bucket overflow

descramble code needed from software company

only available on a need to know basis

knot in cables caused data stream to become twisted and kinked

nesting roaches shorted out the ether cable

The file system is full of it

Satan did it

Daemons did it

You're out of memory

There isn't any problem

Unoptimized hard drive

Typo in the code

Yes, yes, its called a design limitation

Look, buddy: Windows 3.1 IS A General Protection Fault.

That's a great computer you have there; have you considered how it would work as a BSD machine?

Please excuse me, I have to circuit an AC line through my head to get this database working.

Yeah, yo mama dresses you funny and you need a mouse to delete files.

Support staff hung over, send aspirin and come back LATER.

Someone is standing on the ethernet cable, causing a kink in the cable

Windows 95 undocumented "feature"

Runt packets

Password is too complex to decrypt

Boss' kid fucked up the machine

Electromagnetic energy loss

Budget cuts

Mouse chewed through power cable

Stale file handle (next time use Tupperware(tm)!)

Feature not yet implemented

Internet outage

Pentium FDIV bug

Vendor no longer supports the product

Small animal kamikaze attack on power supplies

The vendor put the bug there.

SIMM crosstalk.

IRQ dropout

Collapsed Backbone

Power company testing new voltage spike (creation) equipment

operators on strike due to broken coffee machine

backup tape overwritten with copy of system manager's favourite CD

UPS interrupted the server's power

The electrician didn't know what the yellow cable was so he yanked the ethernet out.

The keyboard isn't plugged in

The air conditioning water supply pipe ruptured over the machine room

The electricity substation in the car park blew up.

The rolling stones concert down the road caused a brown out

The salesman drove over the CPU board.

The monitor is plugged into the serial port

Root nameservers are out of sync

electro-magnetic pulses from French above ground nuke testing.

your keyboard's space bar is generating spurious keycodes.

the real ttys became pseudo ttys and vice-versa.

the printer thinks its a router.

the router thinks its a printer.

evil hackers from Serbia.

we just switched to FDDI.

halon system went off and killed the operators.

because Bill Gates is a Jehovah's witness and so nothing can work on St. Swithin's day.

user to computer ratio too high.

user to computer ration too low.

we just switched to Sprint.

it has Intel Inside

Sticky bits on disk.

Power Company having EMP problems with their reactor

The ring needs another token

new management

telnet: Unable to connect to remote host: Connection refused

SCSI Chain overterminated

It's not plugged in.

because of network lag due to too many people playing deathmatch

You put the disk in upside down.

Daemons loose in system.

User was distributing pornography on server; system seized by FBI.

BNC (brain not connected)

UBNC (user brain not connected)

LBNC (luser brain not connected)

disks spinning backwards - toggle the hemisphere jumper.

new guy cross-connected phone lines with ac power bus.

had to use hammer to free stuck disk drive heads.

Too few computrons available.

Flat tire on station wagon with tapes. ("Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurling down the highway" Andrew S. Tannenbaum)

Communications satellite used by the military for star wars.

Party-bug in the Aloha protocol.

Insert coin for new game

Dew on the telephone lines.

Arcserve crashed the server again.

Some one needed the powerstrip, so they pulled the switch plug.

My pony-tail hit the on/off switch on the power strip.

Big to little endian conversion error

You can tune a file system, but you can't tune a fish (from most tunefs man pages)

Dumb terminal

Zombie processes haunting the computer

Incorrect time synchronization

Defunct processes

Stubborn processes

non-redundant fan failure

monitor VLF leakage

bugs in the RAID

no "any" key on keyboard

root rot

Backbone Scoliosis


excessive collisions & not enough packet ambulances

le0: no carrier: transceiver cable problem?

broadcast packets on wrong frequency

popper unable to process jumbo kernel

NOTICE: alloc: /dev/null: filesystem full

pseudo-user on a pseudo-terminal

Recursive traversal of loopback mount points

Backbone adjustment

OS swapped to disk

vapors from evaporating sticky-note adhesives


short leg on process table

multicasts on broken packets

ether leak

Atilla the Hub

endothermal recalibration

filesystem not big enough for Jumbo Kernel Patch

loop found in loop in redundant loopback

system consumed all the paper for paging

permission denied

Reformatting Page. Wait...

..disk or the processor is on fire.

SCSI's too wide.

Proprietary Information.

Just type 'mv * /dev/null'.

runaway cat on system.

Did you pay the new Support Fee?

We only support a 1200 bps connection.

We only support a 28000 bps connection.

Me no internet, only janitor, me just wax floors.

I'm sorry a pentium won't do, you need an SGI to connect with us.

Post-it Note Sludge leaked into the monitor.

the curls in your keyboard cord are losing electricity.

The monitor needs another box of pixels.


kernel panic: write-only-memory (/dev/wom0) capacity exceeded.

Write-only-memory subsystem too slow for this machine. Contact your local dealer.

Just pick up the phone and give modem connect sounds. "Well you said we should get more lines so we don't have voice lines."

Quantum dynamics are affecting the transistors

Police are examining all internet packets in the search for a narco-net-trafficker

We are currently trying a new concept of using a live mouse. Unfortunately, one has yet to survive being hooked up to the computer.....please bear with us.

Your mail is being routed through Germany ... and they're censoring us.

Only people with names beginning with 'A' are getting mail this week (a la Microsoft)

We didn't pay the Internet bill and it's been cut off.

Lightning strikes.

Of course it doesn't work. We've performed a software upgrade.

Change your language to Finnish.

Fluorescent lights are generating negative ions. If turning them off doesn't work, take them out and put tin foil on the ends.

High nuclear activity in your area.

What office are you in? Oh, that one. Did you know that your building was built over the universities first nuclear research site? And wow, aren't you the lucky one, your office is right over where the core is buried!

The MGs ran out of gas.

The UPS doesn't have a battery backup.

Recursivity. Call back if it happens again.

Someone thought The Big Red Button was a light switch.

The mainframe needs to rest. It's getting old, you know.

I'm not sure. Try calling the Internet's head office -- it's in the book.

The lines are all busy (busied out, that is -- why let them in to begin with?).

Jan 9 16:41:27 huber su: 'su root' succeeded for .... on /dev/pts/1

It's those computer people in X {city of world}. They keep stuffing things up.

A star wars satellite accidently blew up the WAN.

Fatal error right in front of screen

That function is not currently supported, but Bill Gates assures us it will be featured in the next upgrade.

wrong polarity of neutron flow

Lusers learning curve appears to be fractal

We had to turn off that service to comply with the CDA Bill.

Ionization from the air-conditioning

TCP/IP UDP alarm threshold is set too low.

Someone is broadcasting pygmy packets and the router doesn't know how to deal with them.

The new frame relay network hasn't bedded down the software loop transmitter yet.

Fanout dropping voltage too much, try cutting some of those little traces

Plate voltage too low on demodulator tube

You did wha... oh _dear_....

CPU needs bearings repacked

Too many little pins on CPU confusing it, bend back and forth until 10-20% are neatly removed. Do _not_ leave metal bits visible!

_Rosin_ core solder? But...

Software uses US measurements, but the OS is in metric...

The computer fleetly, mouse and all.

Your cat tried to eat the mouse.

The Borg tried to assimilate your system. Resistance is futile.

It must have been the lightning storm we had (yesterday) (last week) (last month)

Due to Federal Budget problems we have been forced to cut back on the number of users able to access the system at one time. (namely none allowed....)

Too much radiation coming from the soil.

Unfortunately we have run out of bits/bytes/whatever. Don't worry, the next supply will be coming next week.

Program load too heavy for processor to lift.

Processes running slowly due to weak power supply

Our ISP is having {switching,routing,SMDS,frame relay} problems

We've run out of licenses

Interference from lunar radiation

Standing room only on the bus.

You need to install an RTFM interface.

That would be because the software doesn't work.

That's easy to fix, but I can't be bothered.

Someone's tie is caught in the printer, and if anything else gets printed, he'll be in it too.

We're upgrading /dev/null

The Usenet news is out of date

Our POP server was kidnapped by a weasel.

It's stuck in the Web.

Your modem doesn't speak English.

The mouse escaped.

All of the packets are empty.

The UPS is on strike.

Neutrino overload on the nameserver

Melting hard drives

Someone has messed up the kernel pointers

The kernel license has expired

Netscape has crashed

The cord jumped over and hit the power switch.

It was OK before you touched it.

Bit rot

U.S. Postal Service

Your Flux Capacitor has gone bad.

The Dilithium Crystals need to be rotated.

The static electricity routing is acting up...

Traceroute says that there is a routing problem in the backbone. It's not our problem.

The co-locator cannot verify the frame-relay gateway to the ISDN server.

High altitude condensation from U.S.A.F prototype aircraft has contaminated the primary subnet mask. Turn off your computer for 9 days to avoid damaging it.

Lawn mower blade in your fan need sharpening

Electrons on a bender

Telecommunications is upgrading.

Telecommunications is downgrading.

Telecommunications is downshifting.

Hard drive sleeping. Let it wake up on it's own...

Interference between the keyboard and the chair.

The CPU has shifted, and become decentralized.

Due to the CDA, we no longer have a root account.

We ran out of dial tone and we're and waiting for the phone company to deliver another bottle.

You must've hit the wrong any key.

PCMCIA slave driver

The Token fell out of the ring. Call us when you find it.

The hardware bus needs a new token.

Too many interrupts

Not enough interrupts

The data on your hard drive is out of balance.

Digital Manipulator exceeding velocity parameters

appears to be a Slow/Narrow SCSI-0 Interface problem

microelectronic Riemannian curved-space fault in write-only file system

fractal radiation jamming the backbone

routing problems on the neural net

IRQ-problems with the Un-Interruptible-Power-Supply

CPU-angle has to be adjusted because of vibrations coming from the nearby road

emissions from GSM-phones

CD-ROM server needs recalibration

firewall needs cooling

asynchronous inode failure

transient bus protocol violation

incompatible bit-registration operators

your process is not ISO 9000 compliant

You need to upgrade your VESA local bus to a MasterCard local bus.

The recent proliferation of Nuclear Testing

Elves on strike. (Why do they call EMAG Elf Magic)

Internet exceeded Luser level, please wait until a luser logs off before attempting to log back on.

Your EMAIL is now being delivered by the USPS.

Your computer hasn't been returning all the bits it gets from the Internet.

You've been infected by the Telescoping Hubble virus.

Scheduled global CPU outage

Your Pentium has a heating problem - try cooling it with ice cold water.(Do not turn off your computer, you do not want to cool down the Pentium Chip while he isn't working, do you?)

Your processor has processed too many instructions. Turn it off immediately, do not type any commands!!

Your packets were eaten by the terminator

Your processor does not develop enough heat.

We need a licensed electrician to replace the light bulbs in the computer room.

The POP server is out of Coke

Fiber optics caused gas main leak

Server depressed, needs Prozac

quantum decoherence

those damn raccoons!

suboptimal routing experience

A plumber is needed, the network drain is clogged

50% of the manual is in .pdf readme files

the AA battery in the wallclock sends magnetic interference

the xy axis in the trackball is coordinated with the summer solstice

the butane lighter causes the pincushioning

old inkjet cartridges emanate barium-based fumes

manager in the cable duct

We'll fix that in the next (upgrade, update, patch release, service pack).

HTTPD Error 666 : BOFH was here

HTTPD Error 4004 : very old Intel cpu - insufficient processing power

The ATM board has run out of 10 pound notes. We are having a whip round to refill it, care to contribute ?

Network failure - call NBC

Having to manually track the satellite.

Your/our computer(s) had suffered a memory leak, and we are waiting for them to be topped up.

The rubber band broke

We're on Token Ring, and it looks like the token got loose.

Stray Alpha Particles from memory packaging caused Hard Memory Error on Server.

paradigm shift...without a clutch

PEBKAC (Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair)

The cables are not the same length.

Second-system effect.

Chewing gum on /dev/sd3c

Boredom in the Kernel.

the daemons! the daemons! the terrible daemons!

I'd love to help you -- it's just that the Boss won't let me near the computer.

struck by the Good Times virus

YOU HAVE AN I/O ERROR -> Incompetent Operator error

Your parity check is overdrawn and you're out of cache.

Communist revolutionaries taking over the server room and demanding all the computers in the building or they shoot the sysadmin. Poor misguided fools.

Plasma conduit breach

Out of cards on drive D:

Sand fleas eating the Internet cables

parallel processors running perpendicular today

ATM cell has no roaming feature turned on, notebooks can't connect

Webmasters kidnapped by evil cult.

Failure to adjust for daylight savings time.

Virus transmitted from computer to sysadmins.

Virus due to computers having unsafe sex.

Incorrectly configured static routes on the corerouters.

Forced to support NT servers; sysadmins quit.

Suspicious pointer corrupted virtual machine

It's the InterNIC's fault.

Root name servers corrupted.

Budget cuts forced us to sell all the power cords for the servers.

Someone hooked the twisted pair wires into the answering machine.

Operators killed by year 2000 bug bite.

We've picked COBOL as the language of choice.

Operators killed when huge stack of backup tapes fell over.

Robotic tape changer mistook operator's tie for a backup tape.

Someone was smoking in the computer room and set off the halon systems.

Your processor has taken a ride to Heaven's Gate on the UFO behind Hale-Bopp's comet.

it's an ID-10-T error

Dyslexics retyping hosts file on servers

The Internet is being scanned for viruses.

Your computer's union contract is set to expire at midnight.

Bad user karma.

/dev/clue was linked to /dev/null

Increased sunspot activity.

We already sent around a notice about that.

It's union rules. There's nothing we can do about it. Sorry.

Interference from the Van Allen Belt.

Jupiter is aligned with Mars.

Redundant ACLs.

Mail server hit by UniSpammer.

T-1's congested due to porn traffic to the news server.

Data for intranet got routed through the extranet and landed on the internet.

We are a 100% Microsoft Shop.

We are Microsoft. What you are experiencing is not a problem; it is an undocumented feature.

Sales staff sold a product we don't offer.

Secretary sent chain letter to all 5000 employees.

Sysadmin didn't hear pager go off due to loud music from bar-room speakers.

Sysadmin accidentally destroyed pager with a large hammer.

Sysadmins unavailable because they are in a meeting talking about why they are unavailable so much.

Bad cafeteria food landed all the sysadmins in the hospital.

Route flapping at the NAP.

Computers under water due to SYN flooding.

The vulcan-death-grip ping has been applied.

Electrical conduits in machine room are melting.

Traffic jam on the Information Superhighway.

Radial Telemetry Infiltration

Cow-tippers tipped a cow onto the server.

tachyon emissions overloading the system

Maintenance window broken

We're out of slots on the server

Computer room being moved. Our systems are down for the weekend.

Sysadmins busy fighting SPAM.

Repeated reboots of the system failed to solve problem

Feature was not beta tested

Domain controller not responding

Someone else stole your IP address, call the Internet detectives!

It's not RFC-822 compliant.

operation failed because: there is no message for this error (#1014)

stop bit received

internet is needed to catch the etherbunny

network down, IP packets delivered via UPS

Firmware update in the coffee machine

Temporal anomaly

Mouse has out-of-cheese-error

Borg implants are failing

Borg nanites have infested the server

error: one bad user found in front of screen

Please state the nature of the technical emergency

Internet shut down due to maintenance

Daemon escaped from pentagram

crop circles in the corn shell

sticky bit has come loose

Hot Java has gone cold

Cache miss - please take better aim next time

Hash table has woodworm

Trojan horse ran out of hay

Zombie processes detected, machine is haunted.

overflow error in /dev/null

Browser's cookie is corrupted -- someone's been nibbling on it.

Mailer-daemon is busy burning your message in hell.

According to Microsoft, it's by design

vi needs to be upgraded to vii

greenpeace free'd the mallocs

Terrorists crashed an airplane into the server room, have to remove /bin/laden. (rm -rf /bin/laden)

astropneumatic oscillations in the water-cooling

Somebody ran the operating system through a spelling checker.

Rhythmic variations in the voltage reaching the power supply.

Keyboard Actuator Failure. Order and Replace.

Packet held up at customs.

Propagation delay.

High line impedance.

Someone set us up the bomb.

Power surges on the Underground.

Don't worry; it's been deprecated. The new one is worse.

Excess condensation in cloud network

It is a layer 8 problem

The math co-processor had an overflow error that leaked out and shorted the RAM

Leap second overloaded RHEL6 servers

DNS server drank too much and had a hiccup