This morning, I turned it on, and it booted in Safe Mode.
I'm on the laptop now. This is a minor irritant, really -- I've got pretty much everything I need to preserve on the second hard drive, and I've been planning to scrub the C: drive and install Win2K for a while now. This is just motivation.
The weird thing?
Long time readers of this babblefest will know that my last two Critical Computer Crises occurred whilst I was running WinAmp and listening to MP3s. In fact, I scrubbed WinAmp from all my systems after the old D: drive went glitchy.
Guess what I reinstalled on Monday?
"Oh, you're just being silly. The system's fine now, it's stable, if anything goes wrong you've planned to scrub it anyway -- go ahead."
My only working hypothesis is that WinAmp gobbles a lot of system resources. If something is having problems, it's enough to push it over the brink. It's like a train going over a rickety railroad trestle. When's it most likely to fail? When the fully-loaded cargo train's rumbling over it.