I got tons done yesterday, including a lovely tub with penguin_goddess, and thereafter I did attempt to fix her PC, which (I believed) just needed a little driver updating.
A few hours later and still using the generic video driver (16 colors at 640x480) and no sound, It was clear to me the only solution would be a complete hosing and reinstall. I know both cards work, because the system is currently dual booting (windows 98/2000 Professional), and under 2000 sound and video are great. Unfortunately, it also completely seizes up every few minutes.
To all non-geeks, gather round as this 25 year veteran reveals to you a dirty little secret: Almost all software related problems will eventually result in a complete re-install from scratch. That's because it takes twice as long to figure out what the problem is and fix it otherwise. Of course, Kim didn't have the original system disks, and I don't generally carry them ALL the time. Actually, I usually have them stashed in my "Panic Bag" in the car -- a handy little back pack stuffed will all manner of bizarre adapters, cables, and about a dozen operating system installation disks for almost any emergency, including a hard to find version of Windows 95 with USB support. That bag was sitting in my room in Boulder Creek for another PC repair job I was working on. Ah well...
Today I was trying to beat a mailing list server into shape. The Fat Sex mailing list is having endless problems staying up, which is making me incredibly annoyed... it worked fantastically for over two years, and over the last two months has been barfing left and right.
Anyway, I need to get something to eat, and try and tackle the problem from a different angle. I'll update you all later!