Windows desktop has been rather cranky for at least a year. Or so. To the point where, 9 out of 10 times, it would blue-screen within 15 minutes of starting up cold.
Now, it's not the manufacturers fault. It was working fine. Thing about Windows machines, you can touch them. Inside. Not always in a nice way. But, this desktop is old enough to have no native USB 3.0 ports. So I dropped a card in. No problem, right?
And there weren't any, for quite awhile. Started adding things to the USB chain. Still okay. Cool! The speed difference is quite apparent. Then, bit by by, I started seeing lockups. Nothing moves, unresponsive, no errors. Hard restart. Always cringe when I have to do that. And it started to get worse. BSODs were saying that I had that ambiguous driver issue. Also started to see "Display unresponsive" errors. Ding! Replace the display card. Nope. Even tried the Windows 8 upgrade, hoping for some relief. Got to the point where I wouldn't shut the machine down at all. Could restart. Just could not let it shut down and sit.
Finally, it dawned on me that it could be that USB card. Got a replacement, with auxiliary power, and popped it in this weekend. So far, so good. Knock on wood.
If it remains stable, it means I won't have to replace my desktop for at least another year. Maybe 2. By that time, I may be ready to hop the fence to the Apple side. Or even let the desktop go altogether, depending on what I am (not) doing. Situations change...