I knew it would, eventually. It had to, but I was hoping it would wait at least a little while longer.
We're going to have to buy a new computer.
I've been very happy with my Dell. It's been remarkably stable. It's put up with a lot and held its own. It's upgraded as much as it possibly can be (including having just added a 4 port USB2 PCI controller), and aside from a few quirks, it's handles them extremely well.
The periferals haven't quite managed to keep up. Our scanner gave up the ghost a while ago, and my printer has become so erratic, I don't even use it anymore. So I got a new printer/scanner combo. We've spent almost a week trying to install it. That's part of why we got the new usb2. After spending a great deal of time with tech support both with Lexmark and with Dell, it still won't install. There's no obvious reason for it. I've got everything the new device needs to install. It all works. But my computer is designed to work with lpt ports for printers, not usb - and usb2 didn't exist when it was built.
There have been other issues over time. More and more, we haven't been able to use new software. We've had to get creative just to be able to burn disks, and for some reason, it won't let me back up to a cd, and that makes me downright nervous. There's a lot of stuff on this computer that I don't want to loose, including 2 years + of digital photos.
So, it's been decided. I'm returning the printer/scanner and using the funds to put a layaway on a new system. We'd considered just getting a new tower and using the existing monitor, etc., but this way, we can pass the old computer on to the kids (though they'll need to use the new one for things), and network them together. There will be less negotiating over computer time with two systems, too.
Most likely, we'll be going for another Dell. I've heard bad things about Dell from others, particularily when it came to customer service, but I've had the opposite experience. Especially with customer service. With the problems we've been having, this is the first time I've had to call tech support since we got our system in 2000 or so. They were extremely helpful, and really went all out to try and figure out a way to get that printer installed, even with a system as old as mine.
Now we just have to figure out how to set up 2 computers, when we only have 1 computer desk, and no room for another...