It all started when Grandma's mouse decided to take on a life of it's own. It suddenly reversed the buttons so that the left button became the right and the right button the left. To make sure it was just the mouse and not other things, I hooked up my mouse and it worked as it should. Then I hooked Grandma's mouse to my computer and had the same problem. So a new mouse went on the shopping list.
I forget (mental block) what exactly happened next, but I wound trying to perform a system restore, which would save the files but restore the system programs to an earlier version. Unfortunately, I used the wrong function, which not only set the programs back to day one, but erased all of Grandma's files.
So we've been working to add her records and files back into her computer. The one saving grace is that I had copied her files to an external hard drive not too long ago. That allowed us to bring everything back, except the many changes she had made to her genealogy records. And all her e-mail addresses and favorite web sites were gone. But she has been making progress to get everything back to a usable level.
We walked over to Office Max to buy a new mouse and happened to see a Maxtor OneTouch III 60 gb external hard drive on sale, so we bought it. It is now hooked up to Grandma's computer, and programmed to copy her "documents" file every evening at 10 pm. I highly recommend an external hard drive to one and all, in case of one of those unexplained "human error" tragedies that occur without forewarning.