So here's what happened, if anyone can possibly help.
Luke and I were watching the Dream Theater Live At Budokan DVD on my computer, and because my speakers weren't working, we'd just unplugged my headphones and put in his so that I could play some cool scenes for him. We'd finished, so we went to swap the headphones so I could listen to more. When I stood up, I nudged my notoriously tempermental keyboard tray and it plummeted to the floor, just mikssing my feet. It was a bit of a bang. As I was standing, I went ahead and swapped the two headphone cables, then got below my desk and Luke and I got the tray back into position, and when Luke accidentally hit a key on the keyboard, the computer beeped at us but we didn't think much of it. I then sat down on my seat and noticed my screen. The DVD player's screen was frozen, and after clicking and typing a bit on my keyboard, nothing was happening except an occasional spurt of music. And the grim sign - across the very top of the screen was a thin line of static.
Now, this has has happened similarly before; I've been swapping between speakers and headphones, replacing cables, and the computer's essentially frozen, with only the occasional spurt of music coming through. But when that happened, I just restarted the computer and all was good. So I tried restarting this time, and while I heard noises coming from within the computer, the screen showed no image. I tried starting again. Still no image. So Luke and I checked all the cables, made sure they were plugged in, unplugged and re-plugged in a few for good measure, and tried again.
This time, the initial screen (the one that includes comments like "press DEL to enter Setup") showed, and then it brought me to a screen saying the last Windows startup had not been successful: did I want to start Windows normally, use the last good settings, or Safe mode? I chose to load Windows normally. The usual Windows XP loading screen started to show - and then stopped. The image was there, pale but distinct (about half as bright as it should be, and there's no contrast problem as the earlier screens were as they should be), but nothing was happening on the loading bar that moves from left to right and the computer was silent. And after a while of nothing happening, I gave up and started again. This time, I tried to use the last good settings, which led to the same result as before. So I tried Safe mode. A list of various files, .sys ones and the like, began scrolling and then stalled. The last to appear was somethingorother/Drivers/Mup.sys, whatever that is. That was at the bottom of the list and things progressed no more.
I left the computer alone and turned off for a couple of hours while I made dinner and watched some TV. When I came back, I tried again and got the same results. I even pressed DEL to get into Setup and that loaded properly, all the colours with the right contrast and not pale, and I hoped to find some obvious error, but all of it was essentially meaningless to me so I exited and tried loading again, to no avail. So here I am on my flatmate's computer, wondering what on earth I've managed to do to my computer and desperately hoping that it's not the monetarily expensive form of serious. Can anyone help?
I feel quite depressed without my computer, and fearing that I've lost a lot of important stuff. Sigh. My mood wasn't helped by watching the news. It was all just death, terrorism, destruction, warfare, sorrow; the world can be such a bleak and terrible place and humans can be so damn horrible. And now I'm just miserable. Bah. I'd write out more of my thoughts on the world and why it saddens me, but I'm struggling to see the laptop without hunching over, and huncing over is really uncomfortable. Stupid crap vision.