To anyone who has been wondering - I haven't been around (online) much this week because my PC died. I was working with it on Monday night, when it randomly crashed. I let it reboot and do a disk check - apparently several files had been corrupted. I was a little concerned, but it let me log in without difficulty. Unfortunately, when I did log in, I was greeted with... nothing. No icons on the desktop, no start menu, no taskbar. Thankfully, ctrl-alt-del and the Task Manager still worked.
As the week progressed, I tried several things to get the PC working normally again. It refused to boot into safe mode, so eventually I simply reinstalled Windows, which seems to have fixed it.
It's a good thing I have a laptop, doubly good that I'd moved my classwork to my laptop on Monday... not that I've gotten much work done since then.