Hey gang, an update on my situation:
So far things haven't been looking any rosier for me. With the help of RW castmate Suzuran and some other techie friends of mine, I tried to track down the cause of the random BSoDs and other program crashes that have plagued my machine since last month. After some extensive testing, I believe we finally tracked down the problem.
It wasn't an issue with the operating system. No hardware was failing per se; this was my biggest worry. Rather ... it seems that the RAM chips on my computer's motherboard came loose just enough to play havoc. Like with cartridge-based console games, if the chips aren't in proper contact with the motherboard you get some very erratic behavior. I wish it was spontaneous breakdancing instead of spontaneous breakdowns.
I found this out when I ran MemTest86+ and saw that the program was spewing tons of errors as it tested my RAM chips. However, when I tested each RAM chip (and each slot for RAM on my motherboard) extensively (and by this I mean at least 10 passes, more than is recommended by techies to determine if there is a problem) no issues came up. And no issues happened when I tested all four RAM chips together after putting them back in the motherboard. (Later, to make sure there was nothing going wrong with the CPU or power supply, Suzuran had me run a number-crunching program and again we saw no abnormalities.)
Now comes the bad news. Because the RAM was loose and putting out garbled data, any operation which involved writing data to my computer's hard drive has probably been messed up. The hard drives physically are perfectly fine, but the file system may be corrupt (Windows did detect this at least twice and fixed the issue with CHKDSK) and worse still, there may be files which have gone "missing" on said drives. This can even happen if you just access a file, Suzuran explained, since that updates the metadata and therefore means writing data.
It also means my attempts to back my system up may have been all for naught. The files may appear to be valid but may have a bunch of garbage data in them. Worse yet, I did not have time to do proper disk imaging of my main drive before I had to travel cross-country for a new job, so I have no recent backup to fall back on. I'm usually very good about redundant backups, but the past year has not been forgiving to me.
At Suzuran's direction (and agreement from my other techie friends) I wound up having to buy new hard drives entirely and reinstall everything. Putting aside the cost of having to buy entirely new drives, this was a bit of a challenge since most of my tech equipment is in Texas and I'm currently in California due to my job. It still is a bit of a challenge trying to get my rig back to the way she was before this happened. The process of copying back over my drive data and verifying that everything is intact is going to take a lot of time.
Of course, this also means that Ragnarok Wisdom is going to still be on hold for now, considering I don't even know if my files have been garbaged by this BS or how many. (Suzuran and my other techie friends have varying prognoses for this, with Suzuran having the most pessimistic outlook on what's happened to my files compared to the other guys.)
I may try to pop on Ragnarok Online and Re:START to say goodbye to our European brohams before the great split happens (again) but that's assuming the files for those games are intact. We'll see.