My laptop is currently in a very dysfunctional state. Not only is the CPU heatsink barely making contact with the CPU, but I've also managed to run a virus. I was able to remove it with Avast Antivirus, but I think it screwed up some system files. Now certain actions cause my laptop to become unresponsive with the only way to fix it being a hard reset. By painful trial and error, I've discovered I should not try to play music in Winamp or iTunes, use the media buttons, or load virtual CD images because they will all crash my computer. My activities are now limited to browsing the web and watching videos in Zoomplayer. I feel like I'm stuck in a minefield. I've already stumbled into a few mines so I know a few places where I shouldn't go, but there's still a lot of unexplored area, and now I'm afraid to venture beyond the small territory I know is safe.
The good news is that relief is coming. I ordered a new 160GB, 5400RPM hard drive for $120, which should arrive this Thursday. I plan to do a clean install of Vista Business Edition (it's basically Home Premium without Media Center) that I got for free from Microsoft. I also bought a replacement CPU heatsink and bottom case on eBay. I also bought a Pentium M 745 (1.8GHz), which I hope to pinmod to 2.4 GHz (my current processor is a Pentium M 760 at 2.0GHz).
Now all I have to do is wait...