I have to ask this question?
You said this?
Now she says she noticed the TV flicker (no lights or anything and none of her fuses tripped) on the night it broke.
Was that Machine actually protected by a good Surge Protector?
If it was not then it is logical what happened. Many people ignore that basic thing about Computing, thinking "It won't happen to me".
First thing that gets taken out is RAM (Memory) no matter what OS used, It is a Hardware issue and applies to Computers in general. The Motherboard can be made useless, same as the CPU. Each Surge has different Problems.
I refurbish and repair computers for disadvantaged people and only charge for Parts that I actually have to buy in. I do get donated Machine and Parts from friendly people, all these are free.
Each Machine has Surge Protection that I pay for my self at no charge.