Weird Computer Problem

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I've got two (I assume unrelated) computer problems right now, so blogging willl be unpredictable until they're resolved. I have a computer with good internet access, but I'm stuck on the old desktop for a bit, which means I have to isolate myself to use the computer. The notebook hard drive won't boot up. I'm hoping to get my files off it by connecting it as a slave to the desktop. I picked up the proper cable for that today and will try it tomorrow, I hope.

The other problem is really strange, and I'm curious if anyone has any idea what's going on. I upload files with the Blackboard software for my classes, and my student download them for use on their own time. One of my students told me when she opened a certain file, it loaded up Word and then rebooted. No other student had this problem. I didn't have this problem. When my notebook's hard drive refused to boot, I went on the desktop and downloaded that file, and it did to my computer what it did with hers. It rebooted upon the file's opening. It did this 4-5 times, and then I tried to open Word on its own. It rebooted. Then I uninstalled Office entirely and reinstalled it. I opened Word. It rebooted. This file has been scanned with the most up-to-date Norton AntiVirus definitions, with no virus detected. It opens fine on the computers on campus. I did it myself, and it worked perfectly. No other student has told me of this problem, and I left a message in the Blackboard class area for both classes I teach. So if it's a virus, it doesn't affect every computer, and it's new or unknown enough that Norton doesn't know about it. Does anyone have any idea what might be going on?

Note: the only email address I'm planning to be using until I reconfigure my new hard drive that I haven't asked Dell for is my gmail one, so don't think you can reach me reliably any other way for a few days. I'm not planning to check gmail very often either, maybe once a day.

Update: Some complete idiot at Dell tech support reponded to my email by telling me I should try doing a direct connect between my two computers, which of course requires having both computers on and running Windows. He proceeded to give me detailed instructions on how to do something I've done many times that has nothing at all to do with my problem. I can't boot up to Windows! I wonder if he even read my email.

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