Cool! The laptop has booted perfectly for two days in a row!
Still, I got another phone call from a company claiming to be an outsourced computer maintenance group while wrestling with the problem. I think that's four this year.
Maybe it's just me, but I'm not turning on my computer, logging on to the internet and giving remote access to a complete stranger with an accent I can barely understand. Especially when the name of the company calling is garbled, with only the word 'Microsoft' clear. I have defeated the virus causing problems, reset all my security - which is now legion, cleared out junk files, defragmented the drive, backed up and sorted out the Black Screen of Death from a software download. I don't need some putz to then tell me I have the same problem as three months ago.
I don't know which is worse: Nigerians telling me they'll give me a percentage of a deceased estate - if only I would help them get the money out of the country; French/Canadian/Cameroonian e-mails telling me I've won the lottery in Spain, Holland or the UK, or sub-continentals with poor English skills wanting access to my very English laptop.
The tragedy is that many people will believe the scams, will send money to help out a Nigerian, will send their bank account details on the promise of wealth, and who will give these people access to their computers and find their identity or banking details stolen.
The solutions are to delete the e-mails and tell the callers you're a computer technician or there's one in the house and you'll just go get them. No one should be asking for remote access to your personal computer unless you absolutely trust them.
I'm sure this won't be the last time they call, but the next time, it will be.