I physically went to tech support and I survived.
Took my laptop in for a diagnostic test today, to see if it suffers from the hardware-related issue I suspected it to. Turns out the hardware’s fine (if a little hot and bothered, what with the dust inside and all), so officially speaking I can’t apply for the repair program they have running. But the guy helping me was kind enough to set me up with a free “software repair” regardless, saying they’ll clean the dust out, run some more in-depth tests and if that doesn’t turn up anything take a look at the software, too. I’m running a system that was born on an old 2006 desktop machine, after all.
That’s rather good service isn’t it? The guy was nice and actually talked to me like I wasn’t retarded. Not sure how he knew, but I guess it can be fairly obvious whether someone’s tech savvy or not from the way they talk about things. Good of him to keep an eye out for cues like that.
Overall not a half bad experience considering the horror stories you hear sometimes. Now I’ll have to plan for when I bring my laptop in for the “repair” though, whatever will I do with my time?