Well, the insides of it are new, anyway. I dropped a glass of water on top of my computer case, and my motherboard did not survive. So one quick trip to Micro Center later, I had myself a newer fast machine.
Some things I learned while recovering:
- If you start up your machine and get a BSOD right after the Windows 7 startup animation, the likely culprit is bad device drivers that are out-of-sync with your new hardware. The best solution is to find yourself a spare hard drive (fortunately you have one of those lying around, don't you?) and do a Windows install on that to try and rescue your other drives.
- If one of your hard disks doesn't show up when you start up Windows, check the disk manager; it might be offline due to a signature collision. (And after doing loads of research on what might happen if I simply selected the "Online" option in the context menu, I simply tried it, and it fixed the issue immediately.)
- If you store your email on your local drive, make sure you have a recent backup before you decide to format your system disk.
- If you have a lot of e-commerce information in your emails that you suddenly lose, a surprising number of vendors retain your order information, and can get you the software authorization keys that you need for a reinstall.
- I subscribe to an awful lot of podcasts. I count 39 active ones that I resubscribed to, and a load of others that haven't updated in several months that probably won't start up again. (Best new podcast to listen to: The Pub, an insider podcast for public radio station employees and related people. It addresses a large number of interesting issues around broadcasting, from the recent Ben Affleck/PBS dustup to the CBC's ongoing Jian Ghomeshi coverage, and if you're interested at all in the people behind podcasts you'll definitely want to check this out.)
So I'm just enjoying having a somewhat new machine, and getting all my new software installed. So that'll keep me entertained for a few days!