I'm wondering if it might not be the result of some sort of virus or spyware, because neither I nor my roommate (whose PC it is) hadadded or changed anything on my PC for weeks, if not months. The only variable I can think of is, I use the Internet almost daily.
My question is this: is there any way to recover files before reinstalling Windows? Obviously, if we're talking about wiping the hard drive clean and reinstalling everything, it's going to nuke any documents or other files that were stored in there. I've never done this before, so I'm not entirely clear on what's involved (hence, the potentially goonish, greenhorn nature of my questions...)
However, Lampdoc's post suggests that the process involves reinstalling over existing software, which makes me wonder if there's possibly some chance that the files I had in the computer might not be lost.
Oy... I shoulda stuck with that nice abacus my grandpappy gave me back in the day...