Asking for help when you haven't tried the basics.
I got a phone call from a sysadmin: program X would not work. Ok I said, so you've done the basic trouble shooting. Oh yes, he said. By the time I got there the machine would not boot at all, and he had spent six hours trying to fix it. The bios was bust and the OS missing huge chunks. I googled the error message, put in the first fix on the first link that came up, and it booted to BIOS.
And then I found out he hadn't bothered to search online for the original error. The broken install and bios wipe occurred not because of the fault, but because he hadn't looked the problem up online, or even actually read the error message, before he started deleting files and disk partitions. It wasn't saveable. I'm doing a Windows reinstall now, and then manual repartitioning and a total rebuild which will take hours. The original error was a config problem, and the fix? One line of command line code taking a few seconds. He never checked.
Please, please look things up for yourself! It saves me time, trouble, and wanting to scream.