Absolute Total Hell:
A little while back, I wrote about a condition in which my computer was randomly locking up. I thought it might be a virus, or a damaged hard drive, or something else. So, when Suzanne and I ordered our videocamera as an early X-Mas present to ourselves, I decided to upgrade: Got a 120 GB hard drive, planning to use it as the new base drive.
After a tortuously long attempt at installing said hard drive, which wasn't helped by a manual for another hard drive that turned out not to be my old one, we finally got the jumpers set right and the master/slave thing worked out and the whole thing up and running. Except: It still locked up at random moments.
Oh, how I miss the halcyon days when that was my computer's only problem.
Through a series of misadventures involving reinstalling Windows XP, changing display drivers and other such things, I eventually found myself with a computer that wasn't even remotely working. Desperate, I called Computer Nerdz here in Austin, they sent someone out, he gave me peace of mind by assuring me that he would have done the same types of things I was trying but much less peace of mind when he couldn't fix the computer any better than I could, at least not without a big huge tech support bill that I couldn't afford.
So it was decided that I would do a clean install of Windows XP on my old hard drive, use the new one as a slave. Except that now the computer was locking up every time I tried to load up Windows, such that it took over two hours just to get it started on the installation. I went to work, hoping Suzanne would be able to keep resetting until eventually the computer would fail to lock up and Windows XP would install.
It did, but then Suzanne ran a virus scan (understand, I'd had McAfee for as long as I'd had this computer) and found a virus. Which might also be the cause of the random lockups. Long story short, my computer is now practically useless. It has Windows XP on it, but it goes about 5-15 minutes between locking up. It has either: A) a virus B) bad memory C) a bad motherboard or D) all of the above. Frankly, I'm at a complete loss. And speaking of loss, somehow the computer managed to lose all of my saved email and my copious address book, neither of which was backed up as most of my data (which it *can* still find) was.
Now I'm working on my (much slower) laptop until I can figure out what to do. One thing's for sure... I'm looking much more seriously at getting a Mac the next time I buy a computer.