My desktop is down again and I'm writing these with my 7 year old Toshiba laptop which at times could be as slow as molasses! I took it to Best Buy and asked them to transfer the available files to an external hard drive and haven't tried it yet. I didn't ask them to fix the computer though. We decided to buy a or maybe two new computers of different kinds but haven't found what fits our best yet.
I really don't know what caused this time's problem but I transferred a few photos and contacts to my old iPod Nano and after that worked with a PC for a few hours. The next approach was completely unsuccessful. I was not able to run the operating system. So here I'm now writing on this old machine and the good side of this is my time on computer has significantly decreased! If I only could use this opportunity and do something positive and productive with my time, that would be great!