The Good News: The hard drive seems fine, and I should be able to recover all my data! The old parts can go to recycling efforts, so he’s not a complete waste. All the peripherals are good, so they can be used on a new machine. And the replacement machine will have a DVD-RW, double the hard drive space, four times the RAM and run much faster than Mr. PC, and costs $300 LESS than he did in 2001. Amazing.
I hadn’t been sitting around thinking “Hey, I wish I could spend a bunch of money on computer hardware!”, but it was less painful than it could have been. For that, I’m grateful.