Well, I guess it could be something like working on a car.
Last Thursday morning, I walked into my office to a dead computer. It had been working fine just the evening before. I've had some trouble getting it to reboot reliably after Windows Updates in the recent past, but it always ended up booting after a couple of tries, and I didn't think too much about it. Windows. Five-year-old, parts-built machine. No warranty. You know the drill. Unless you buy from Dell or HP or Asus or Apple.
On Thursday, no matter what I did, it would not restart. It would get about to the point of "Starting Windows" and just go dead on me.
The more I thought about it, the more I thought it looked like the video card wasn't initializing once you asked it to do something more than VGA mode. So while I made plans to buy a new machine (since this one is, after all, five years old for all it's an i7-860 with 8GB DDR3 RAM), I also hedged and ordered a new video card to replace the XFX Radeon HD4770 that was apparently failing. I got an EVGA GeForce GT 630 card from Amazon. It's actually a better card; the old one had only 512MB GDDR5 RAM and was a 2-bay-wide CrossFire card that I never used for, you know, CrossFire, since I'm not a gamer. The new one is a single-bay card with 2GB DDR3 RAM, plus, instead of having a worthless mini-DIN "Video" port in addition to the dual DVI ports, this one has got a mini HDMI port in addition to the dual DVI ports. So bonus.
Anyway, in went the new video card, and right back up (more or less) came the machine. I say more or less because the boot sector from the mirrored SATA drives went missing somewhere along the line, probably because I'd pulled one of them to stick in a SATA dock so I could get files I needed while the machine was toast. So I ended up simply recovering the last full backup, which conveniently actually DID get made on Wednesday night before the smoke got let out of the video card.
If you don't make backups, people, you will be crying in your beer one day. Acronis makes great software, that's all I'm saying. And they didn't pay me to say that, either. And I also was able to shrink my E: drive by 25GB so I could add it to my C: drive to give the OS a little more overhead, too...so more bonus.
I'm still looking at a new mobile desktop machine, but I'm not looking to buy it this week, or at least I hope I'm not. (sound of knocks on wood)