Have decided it's a good thing I have a slightly absurd sense of humor as I dratted the computer tower - and the non-working new 4 gb flash drive - in to the computer store where I bought it, as they also do computer repairs there.
The technician checked and found that there was a huge glitch in the system software itself (not covered by warranty, sadly) - but because I'd even taken the precaution of printing out very simply but explicit instructions, including exactly which files/folders simply must be put onto the flash-drive prior
to putting the computer back into factory condition, I felt pretty confident leaving it there.
Unfortunately, while the technician did transfer all 'My Documents' to the flash drive, he obviously forgot to transfer the other folders/files that were so, so vital - and now some photo programs that I bought (by downloading and paying back before I was wise enough to know to only buy programs on CDs
), are gone forever. (A couple of my very favourite ones are no longer available at all because the creators/sites have gone poof! Gentle sob!
Oh well, at least the computer is up and running 'just like new once again' (and 'only' for $160+ for repairs!).