So, my computer failure turned out not to be the motherboard, which is what the computer geeks in my life had been speculating based on my description of the failure–but instead my hard drive. This had the potential to be very, very bad, since I am lazy about backing up my files, but! My best friend was able to recover all of my data!!! It took some doing, including sticking my dying hard drive in the freezer for a bit and retrieving the data with a computer running Linux when it became evident that the computer running Windows just could. not. do it., but in the end he prevailed.
This also means that I didn’t have to replace my entire computer, but just the hard drive, which is much easier on my pocketbook (even if I am the tiniest bit sad that I can’t justify buying a laptop anymore). The replacement of my hard drive went something like this:
Me: So, how much will a new hard drive cost me? And how quickly can it get here, like, two days? I don’t want to wait too much longer to have a functioning computer.
Best friend: Well, I can give you this two terabyte one.
So I now have a gorgeous, huge new hard drive, and my computer is running smoothly again, and I’m trying out Linux and really enjoying it, and basically my best friend’s the best thing ever.
And now I’m going to go back up my data. 🙂