My computer was crashing all day Wednesday. I tried every tool and utility in the book, but no fix was to be had. The hardware diagnostics all passed, which wouldn't matter since it is out of warranty (only one year? humph ...). Since nothing seemed to indicate failure but no restore would remedy this malady, I was left with a single option.
I reinstalled the Operating System (Windows Vista, for those who care) and my computer is now fresh and clean. Unfortunately, it is also bare and ignorant. So many updates! So much software to install! So much data to restore!
After 48 hours I have a minimally functional system. Still, I am glad to have it! My old computer is a real dog!