In keeping with My mandate as the goddess of random equipment malfunctions, this evening I effected repairs to a household computational device that appeared to have been infested by Space Lichen.
Or possibly the mother, maiden aunt and great-great-grandfather of all dust bunnies. In a word... Eww.
Unfortunately, merely vacuuming out the case did not cause this fine system to spontaneously fix itself. The problem in question was the dreaded Eternal XP Reboot Loop, and solving it took some actual tech work on My part.
And a Ubuntu Live CD, to move a few files off the system drive in the event we had to format and reinstall.
And the Windows XP install disk, so I could run Recovery Console.
And a glass of orange pop. (Note that I'm wearing My static strap, in accordance with Geekitude Best Practices, and a rather natty blue and grey workshirt.)
So, once I pulled up a web page on how to actually use Recovery Console (on My Fedora Core 6 Linux box, mwahahaha!) I tried a few commands and restarted the system after each one to see if the 'puter had come to its senses.
Ran fixboot. Nada.
Thought about running fixmbr but quickly reconsidered, as one hypothesis for the system failure was virus infestation. As opposed to Space Lichen infestation, which we had relatively under control by this time. The prospect of blowing away the partition tables and destroying 100+GB of gaming data and original art files (and incurring the wrath of a horde of vengeful sidhe and tieflings) simply made a full reinstall of the system drive a far, far more attractive prospect.
But in the end all it took was chkdsk /p, which found and fixed errors on the hard drive. Oh, and a quick search to replace a motherboard audio driver that had apparently been raptured by the computer gods. Virus and spyware scans both came up clean, leading Me to suspect that the problem was a corrupted driver on the hard drive.
And the computer -- Chala's beloved Bob the Minotaur -- is now back in action and none the worse for its adventures.