Here's something I've always known, but today decided to ignore: never ever apply a critical patch from Microsoft to an established system without first backing up everything you possibly can.
You see, I've heard good things about XP's Service Pack 3. It not only applies all the updates you may have missed over the past...uh...four years, but it typically boosts system performance by up to ten percent. I hadn't heard any horror stories about updating gone awry, so when I saw it was officially released today I went and grabbed it, then applied it.
It turned T's laptop into a brick. I tried every trick I could think of to get the damned thing rolled back, but nothing worked. Finally I used a Kubuntu 7.04 Live CD to access the hard drive and back up T's data to the handy USB drive I keep for just such an emergency. Then it was simply a matter of wipe and reinstall XP. That's what I get for taking my brain off the hook.
Of course, it's now 6 AM and I'm still trying to get some things reinstalled. T's not happy because I messed things up and she didn't get to enjoy her day off. I'm tired and the last installation failed for no good reason, other than possibly the fact that I tried using an alternate installation destination.
Meh. I'm going to bed now.