That would be me.
I was doing some computer maintenance last night and somehow deleted a key bit of Windows.
Yeah. Brilliant, eh?
So I don't quite have the BSOD*, but it's close, as the computer didn't come with a system restore disk and the Windows Product Key sticker was conveniently placed on the top of the tower, where Puff used to like to snuggle 'cause it's warm. So the sticker is mostly worn down to nothing. The code that must be entered to "Activate" Windows is long since gone, and I never -- to the best of my recollection -- copied it down anywhere.
Again. Brilliant, eh?
I'm sneaking online right now, to try and find some way out of this predicament, but I just couldn't wait to let y'all know what a doofus I am.
Hmmm. Perhaps now is the perfect time to further explore Linux....