I had some downtime this past week, when the HP laptop suddenly failed to boot. This was unexpected, and I had to take it in for the first time to have it looked at. The above headline summarizes the result. Thankfully, I was able to get my files retrieved, and they now lie on a nice little(!) 32Gb USB drive.
It had served me well for almost five years, and it was just upgraded to Windows 10 last month. That was a smooth process, although it took almost two hours to perform. Thankfully, I'm rather patient.
After investigation, I settled on a Lenovo Windows 7 Pro laptop with Intel i5. I normally prefer AMD chips, but I've learnt that they run hotter and are probably better suited for desktop workstations. That's interesting information to keep in mind for the future.
Within 24 hours, I now have it running on Windows 10, as I was informed that the laptop qualified for immediate upgrade. All other applications I required, in their latest versions, have also been downloaded and installed. They are all legal as well: I am a fan of open source apps, and they operate very well these days! Together with a second monitor, I'm now back in business.