Anyway, I've got these network troubles. No need to go into them - just trust me, they're a pain in the ass.
My cousin Paul works on my grandmother's computer, which is also having the same problems, hooked up to the same network with the same network card, and comes to the conclusion that the network card is junk. He replaces it with a Linksys network card, and everything works for that system.
OK, fine. I go out and buy myself the same card. Pop it in. Suddenly, the network works! Hooray!
On a hunch, I pop a DVD into my DVD-ROM. Sunnovabitch, it works! Good LORD! I test it with a second disc - still works!
OK, so now I'm on a roll, right? I turn off the computer, and switch video cards. Everything seems hunky dorey......until I try to install the drivers. Blue screen of death. Fine. Not happy about it, but fine. I'll just pop the DVD back in...........
...........and that's when I notice that the DVD-ROM doesn't work anymore.
No clue what changed, or how to fix it. I put the old video card back, it doesn't help. I tried it with nuthin' loading in Windows on startup - no luck.
I'm back where I started, except the network works. And for about five minutes, I had a working DVD-ROM.
I should be elated - but I'm crushed. I tasted victory against the machine, and then had it taken away from me.
MAN, I hate that.....