As if the business with the car wasn't aggravation enough.
I come home from work on Friday, having endured my annual required dose of ritual abuse (as contrasted with the normal abuse of the job) (annual review - came in "above standards" and got a recommendation for promotion), to find that my main computer has gone and hung solid. Only thing to do is reboot; that should put it to rights, right? After all, you should expect this sort of thing occasionally when dealing with Windows, and more specifically when you've upgraded from one version of Windows (ME) to another (XP Pro). So I do so. Except the machine won't boot. It's an ATX system, which means that everything, but everything, is routed through the motherboard. I have the "live" indicator (green LED on the MB), but the "start" switchbutton isn't lighting green, it's lighting amber. And nothing else happens. Uh-oh. Fiddle with it for a while, get it up. Leave it overnight. Wake up in the morning, hung solid again. Reboot, get it right up. Leave it for the day; big SCA event. Get home. Solid again. Punt it for the night, I'll squawk at Gateway tomorrow (today).
Oneeighthundredgateway later, and the tech wants me to basically start breaking down the system to minimums - and even below. Nothing changes; even at minimum, the system isn't going to come up. Start switchbutton decided that it likes amber so much that it's going to stay that way. Going below doesn't exactly make sense to me, but if he wants me to do it, so be it. So, with no memory, the system doesn't even object with the usual beeps. Just lights amber on the button, green on the MB. The really ridiculous test is when I'm asked to disconnect the power supply from the MB, leaving just a disk drive connected, and try it. Naturally, this doesn't work at all, and I have no idea why they wanted me to try this.
Upshot: They think it's the PS, I think it's the MB. Either way, it goes into the service department at the local GW store tomorrow at ten, and who knows how long I'll be without it. So today is spent with my laptop and at my parents'; Dad has some tools that I can use to pull some of my most critical stuff and get it up and running on the laptop, so that I'm not completely dead in the water while the GW is in the shop. (N.B. My mother has an almost identical system. The brackets holding the heat sink and fan to the CPU broke; odd symptoms until my father opened it up and figured out what was going on. It took seven weeks to get the system back - with a replaced MB; they couldn't just replace the broken brackets. Is paranoia over being systemless for a long period justified?)
Just what I need, right?