Well, my two decades of awfully bad luck continue. I will refrain, at this time, from going into too much detail other than to mention that my ongoing computer problems took me offline for well over a month.
My OS started to go screwy a few months ago, getting lots of "Program Not Responding" errors, especially when I was working on my campaign map, trying to finish it up. I then started to get infrequent BSODs, but each time, they were from different causes.
I thought that since I had just put my new OS on a refurb HDD, that it may be the HDD was the issue, but I didn't have an extra HDD laying around for me to back up my files and then reinstall the OS, so I continued to coax my computer as it limped along through the end of summer.
Then, I got to the point where I had a BSOD constantly, with no two in a row being from the same cause, but I got to see a regular pattern of what was causing them. This brought me to thinking it could be due to 1) OS corruption, 2) Bad memory stick(s), or 3) motherboard instability. I ran several different memory diagnostic programs with zero errors reported. I cleaned my registry using reputable, but free, programs, and got rid of a number of problems. Of course, I couldn't do much about the MOBO as I do not have the funds to replace it.
Luckily, a friend from my local wargaming club was willing to help by donating one of his OS licenses to me, just in case it was a bad install on my own OS disk. He also loaned me a 750gb external HDD, so that I could back up all of my files, my MA research, my wargaming library and mapping software, etc.
When I went to plug in the external HDD (it is a USB device), it wouldn't boot up in the system. I have four USB plugs, three are not used, and one has a 4 port hub plugged into it (I had a USB mouse and keyboard, but had to borrow PS2 versions so that I could boot from a CD). I tried restarting my machine, which was risky as it hasn't been starting up easily when pushing the power on button. Still, no show for the external drive. I then plugged it into the 4 port hub, but in the first two ports, it would not show up. Finally, in the third port, the drive booted. Deciding to leave well enough alone, I went with this set up and installed Win7 Ultimate after spending 22 hours getting all my stuff onto the external drive. Yeah, 22 hours is a conservative number, it was actually the better part of two days.
I got the new OS installed, reinstalled all the newest drivers, the diagnostic programs, my mapping software, and a couple online betas of computer games. I figured I would try running different programs to see if I could force a BSOD. For the first two days, it was golden. Everything worked fine.
I am now getting BSODs again. They happen very infrequently, once every two days or so, but they do happen. So, it's not the software at all, but rather the hardware. And sans employment, I am stuck with the machine as it currently exists.
I will try to get back to regular postings, but if I disappear again for several weeks, it is because my machine has failed yet again. I would post with my ipad, but Blogger does not like ipads very much and I have lost hours of postings due to issues between the two.