Look! We're back!
As mentioned earlier, the Magic Elf Box here at Rancho LawDog had a brief dalliance with a bit of code named "the Antivirus 2010 virus" obviously written by a socially-deficient, sexually-repressed, basement-dwelling, vertebrae-lacking, yellow-bellied, gonad-deprived, rubber-nappy-wearing little script monkey for fun and profit.
Not only did it sleaze right past the Windoze firewall, but running Malwarebytes Anti-Malware not once, but five times (twice in Safe Mode) didn't even touch it.
Finally jerked the cables on the tower and drove it down to Best Buy to turn it over to the tender mercies of the Geek Squad.
Got a call from the resident Alpha Geek cheerily informing me that, "We ran two tests, and they both say you've got a bad hard-drive."
The hard-drive was working fine when that sodding virus kept opening Explorer and visiting such lovely sites as [deleted].com, [deleted].biz, and [OhGawdMyEyesDELETEDDELETEDDELETED].info. Anti-Malware did a complete scan five -- count-'em FIVE times -- and didn't seem to have a problem accessing the hard-drive.
Of course, it didn't find the bloody virus, either, but that's beside the point.
Not to mention that Herself and I have a great deal of data (read: stories) stored upon said hard-drive.
No go, sayeth The Geek.
So the old hard-drive is sitting in a cardboard box on the desk next to the Magic Elf Box as I type this.