The Death of a Laptop?

Okay, a little bit off the Student Ministry path, but it is 3 in the morning and I really need to vent a little steam off in order to fall asleep. I am really ticked off at my laptop. A little background:

I was able to replace my previous office laptop with a Dell Inspiron back in October of last year. Initially it worked out great. Good battery life, speedy processing, etc. Then in March (I believe) it fell a few inches onto the floor, damaging a connection from the power cord to the battery, necessitating my sending it out for repair. It came back, but I was not pleased with Dell’s service. It seemed to run alright (since I held onto the hard drive while it was away, none of the software had issues) until about 6 weeks ago.

Out of the blue I received a blue screen of death. After running the system repair utility a few times it seemed to be fixed, but now was noticeably slower and seemed to heat up quicker. It had some further issues (not booting up properly mainly) over the next few days, but no system scans revealed problems and McAfee did not reveal any viruses to be obliterated. Over time it seemed to get back into working order on its own (save for the occasionally slowdown and the heat issues).

Tonight, mere hours before I leave for a weekend in Delaware with a bunch of old friends from college, the laptop issues reared their ugly heads again. Without provocation, I was forced to restart (after Windows installed a missing driver on its own), and in the 5 hours since I have not been able to get the laptop to get past the Windows repair screens.

Now, I learned my lesson long ago that I need to back up my information. And I did last week. But there are a couple of items that I was not able to back up (among them the new logo for this year’s H20 theme), and there are at least a dozen programs installed that I no longer have access to in order to reinstall them. Hence my hesitation at reformatting and starting from scratch.

Needless to say, I am more than a bit furious right now. I can’t even fall asleep. If I could afford to purchase an Apple I would gladly plunk my cash down and take this glorified paperweight to the nearest shooting range and fill it full of holes. Then I would run it over a few times with my car. Then I would flush the remains down the nearest toilet. Then I would contact the water/sewage department in Corry, apologize profusely at my overreaction and ask for the parts back so that I could give them a proper Viking burial.

So I may be working from home for a while. And I will definitely not have Internet access this weekend.

I wish that I could afford a Mac. I know that every operating system has issues, but from what I have seen, a Mac would treat me far better. 2 laptops in as many years (and I am certainly not overworking them at all)? That is just plain disgusting.

Anyone have any ideas before I wipe this monstrosity’s hard drive and start from scratch? (I reallyreallyreally don’t trust Dell to fix it).