Windows XP Pro crashed hard on me today, of course during a book deadline in which I need the machine to act not just as a collaborative workgroup WebDAV server (using Adobe's new AWWS system bundled with GoLive 6), but also to make screen captures to keep my Windows readers happy when we explain how parts of the program work on two platforms.
Boot. Pretty status bar. Freeze. Retry. Safe mode. Bleah. Boot off install CD. Run initial recovery routine. Run chkdsk. Disk checks out. Reboot. Freeze. Bleah. Aiee! Swear words. Anger. Denial.
Then I get smart: I figure, what the hell, I'll reinstall. The XP Pro install disk, holy cow, it works like it's supposed to. It recognizes an existing installation. It fixes things. It downloads files. It asks me if I want to upgrade the firmware (using a Net download) of the WMP11 wireless card I have in my machine! Yes! Yes! Yes! 30 minutes later, it reboots, and works exactly like it used to. I'm impressed. I hate that it crashes hard and can't cope. I love that I'm back at status quo ante.