After a bit of thought, I decided I would put another hard drive in her old computer and use it as my secondary desktop. It got some lower specs than the desktop I traded with her, but it will be more than fine for what I wanted it for. I installed the hard drive with OpenBSD 5.3, which I had installed just a couple of weeks ago. On boot-up, it gave me an error, then came up in single user mode with hard drive issues. After a few choice words, I figured I could just re-install OpenBSD on it, so I grabbed the CD set, popped the x86-64 CD in and rebooted. Nothing. I would up with some cryptic message, basically "CD-ROM: EF". Hmm, perhaps the i386 CD... Nothing. Damn! could the DVD/CD have gone bad, or perhaps the SATA circuitry on the motherboard? On a whim, I stuck the Debian 7.0 (Wheezy) x86-64 netinst in and rebooted. This time, it came up and displayed the Debian installation menu. I decided to try the OpenBSD CD one more time, so I stuck it in and rebooted. Same error as before. Back in went the Debian netinst CD, and after a moderately long amount of time, I now have a working Debian 7.0 desktop:
I'm not really sure what was up with the OpenBSD CDs and the DVD/CD burner/player on the Zino, but the system seems to be working fairly well right now. My intent is to delve into the Django Python web framework, and this system will work just fine for that.
The moral of this story is, all hardware fails, eventually. Plan for it, make backups. All of our important files from our home partitions on our desktops are backed up to the file server each morning at 2:00 AM. Once a week, all of the files on the file server are backed up to an external USB drive. Is this a perfect backup scenario? no, but for now, it works. When I can think of some way to get a copy of the backups off-site, I may implement that as well.