looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage

Scratch that. Rewind.

So I opened Visual Studio 2005 - which isn't suffering from that "unexpected critical error" - and used the wizard to migrate my ASP.NET 1.1 project. Uh oh. Big mistake. I have no idea what it just did, but too many things are looking unfamiliar. It's created new subdirectories, it now seems to be looking directly at my web servers, it's moved code around... I feel some swear words coming on.

Perhaps it would be different if I had worked on this project recently, but it's been a couple of months. I know that ASP.NET 2.0 does some things quite differently and it is probably a good idea to come to grips with the differences before trying to do productive work.

I'm going to restore my project files from our Buffalo Linkstation network storage device. I use SyncBack Freeware to regularly update a mirror of each computer's important files. (I really should register up to the full version because it's been working out really well.)

Then it's time to reinstall Visual Studio 2003. I can't afford to mess around and possibly mangle the source files further. I'd like to migrate this project to 2.0 but it will have to be done carefully and, I think, page by page as a new, parallel project. 

Gah. After the Office re-install debacle, my laptop has been looking more and more like a candidate for a "wipe-and-reinstall-windows".