That was very strange. Last night, I shut down successfully, and I haven't installed any new software in days. In fact, the only thing I've installed recently was a Firefox update. This morning, I tried getting on my laptop and was met with a BSOD and the Windows 7 system repair utility.
Anyway, long story short, a system restore solved the problem (or the symptoms but not the underlying cause? I don't know). I would like to know what was giving me so much trouble.
What can I use to find out?