Sure enough, the computer finally died. I heard a POP this morning, after still having endless problems with incomplete/repeated boots. A capacitor blew out on the motherboard. After the POP, it wouldn't boot at all.
I hauled the other box out of storage and, with Mark's help, got it fired up. It only has the barest of bones on it, as far as my old programs go. I only got Firefox loaded a couple of hours ago. So, I'll be off line for some days to come while I get this stupid XP box tamed. (I'm also seeing an unbelievable amount of popup spam on this machine! Really incredible amounts. Gotta get Spybot and Zone Alarm going, ASAP.)
So, see ya around the weekend, I hope.