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BUFFY: (muttering) Bad day. Bad, baaad....

That's a bit of dialogue from the Buffy episode Checkpoint... and it's perfect for today. I heard the error beep when my computer shut down this morning (I wasn't in the room -- I usually never am when something catastrophic has happened!), but it quickly went on through shutdown anyway. I turned it off.

And now it won't boot up! WAAAHHHH!!!

I keep getting a message saying that there's been a hardware or software failure, blah blah blah, and I have a set of options: Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, Safe Mode with Command Prompt, Last Known Good Configuration, and Start Windows (XP Home SP2) Normally.

But it may as well be no choice because no matter which one I choose, the computer keeps restarting back to the same error message. At least with the Safe Mode choices, I get a list of files--or I start to, until the list gets to agp440.asp or somesuch and dutifully restarts.

Vaguely hoping that maybe my videocard and/or TV capture card had failed, I tried rebooting with first one and then both removed. No dice, same response. Which should make me happy, because it means both are still good. But then it also means I have NO idea what the problems is. This isn't a hard drive failure--I sadly have the experience enough to say! Then I wouldn't even get the message.

Sigh. Need I even say that everything worked perfectly fine this morning?

At least I managed to finish & upload one of my long overdue papers. I mean, I know I've taken my computer life in my hands with these computers I use that I've won at online auctions--well, financially, I've had no choice, and for the most part they've worked pretty darn well--but why did this have to happen now, during my very first semester in that Online English Degree program?!

I read about a couple of options. I'm hoping I can get a Repair Install of Windows instead of having to go all hardcore and reformat. But I have worse than OEM-version; I have no Windows install disc because all I won from the auction was the computer. Period. I didn't get any accompanying CD-ROMs... At least, I don't remember any offhand. Maybe I'll look around...

Luckily, I did buy an external hard drive some months back and moved a bunch of important files (gameplay files!!) to it. But it'd be best to be able to get back into the regular system.

Did I already say WAAAHHHHH!!!