As you may already know, a few weeks ago my personal PC started behaving oddly. Both my Ubuntu and Windows XP installs began misbehaving in a very similar fashion; windows wouldn't come to the front when clicked on and web links wouldn't go active when moused over. I figured it might've been a virus, but when I tried to reformat and reinstall the problem persisted, so I started thinking hardware fault.
Switching keyboards didn't fix it and it'd been a while since I'd opened up my case and cleaned the components; I began to suspect a short somewhere. The amount of dust and dog-hair I discovered when I removed the side panel was scary, so last weekend I donned a static strap, pulled everything apart, cleaned it off and reassembled. By the time I was done I was pretty tired and not particularly surprised when the PC didn't power on; I figured I'd connected the front panel to the motherboard wrong.
Last night I pulled my PC out and fixed the front panel connections, then tried again, but the PC still didn't power on. I then remembered I'd unplugged the power board during one of the nasty storms of recent, plugged it back in and hit the power button. My PC began emitting a high-pitched squeal, the likes of which I'd never heard before. It took me a few minutes of trial and error to realise that the noise was coming from the last place I expected: My video card. I hadn't plugged it back into the power supply.
I did so, but now, while my PC gives every other indication of booting up, my screen flickers back and forth from standby to online but never displays a picture.
So it seems I've somehow buggered at least a couple of hundred dollars worth of graphics card, if not the whole damned PC. I still have computing options; I can pull Vickie's old PC, which we gave to young Chookie at one point, out of the loft and reformat it, which will give me back web function and, probably most important at the moment, word processing. But no matter what, I can forget Dawn of War II, Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead, not to mention any PC games that get sent to work for review purposes, for the time being.