Oh, Mother..board

So, today I was surfing the Internet, not really doing much of anything, looking at some new books, thinking about maybe buying a few. Then I realize I have to run to the dang store, I got to get one last Mother's Day card out, so it will get there on time. I leave, computer is running fine, I turned off the screen though ( it tends to trick my 2 yr. old, if he thinks the comp is off, he won't mess with it ). I was gone, say, maybe an hour and a half, I come home and what do I find??? My computer is no longer working. The pretty blue light, that lights up when the power is on and everything is running fine, is now and ugly shade of orange, and the screen, well it won't even turn back on for me. So I start turning things on and off, plugging and unplugging, I switch out cords, switch out monitors, nothing. I call HP customer service, get a tech, only to have them tell me that my warranty JUST ran up last month and that for me to purchase a new one to cover parts and labor would cost me $250. HOLY COW right?? Then I ask how much it would cost then to fix my computer without the warranty, they go online, do a remote access, well, they TRY to do the remote access, but since I can't see my screen, I can't allow them on, so they tell me I can send it in, they will look at it and then let me know what is wrong and then we can go from there, I ask how much that will cost, only $140 they say, YEAH RIGHT!! So I politely tell them I will think about it and will call them back later, I'm sooo never calling them back for that. A friend here on post, her father is a computer specialist, he has degrees in it, and she asks him to take a look, and he gladly agrees. After taking apart and looking over my computer he comes to the conclusion it's one of two things, either my video card, or my motherboard, but seeing as in my computer the video card is built ONTO the motherboard, it's kind of all and the same. I go to the local computer shop, they have a extra video card that is compatible with my computer, they attach it, we cross our fingers, if this works it means it's only the video card, and will only cost me $80!!! Alas, I have no such luck, nothing happens, after running a few checks and doing and analysis, they discover that it's not only my video card ON the motherboard, but a few other things on there as well. My motherboard has passed away. The cost of me to have HP fix my motherboard and return it to me is almost $300, but I could just go buy almost the same computer from them, for $350, brand new... what to do, what to do.

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