I have had this happen numerous times in the past 20 years.
It happened to me again Sunday and to Nancy yesterday.
I had cloned my harddrive about 5 months ago for just this occurance but as the screen would not show anything, I realized it had to be a hardware problem as in, the onboard video in the motherboard was likely gone. Had I not cloned that second drive, I wouldn't have been able to pinpoint the problem.
My solution has been to have a second functioning computer. This has saved me more than once because if I get a virus, I can look it up, download the solution, put it on a USB drive and boot from it to make the fix,)
As far as shopping for a new computer:
I'm kind of a techie (I built 3 computers from scratch before I switched to laptops) and I try to stay current with what the newer processors can do as well as other tech advances like solid state harddrives so I know how to compare.
I know I don't need a computer that plays advanced games because "I don't do that anymore."
Being as that I replaced my two netbooks on which the hinges had broken with a low end music editing laptop within the past year, when the laptop I purchased in March of 2009 crapped out Sunday, I had to take a look at what I needed VS what I didn't need. (I feel I certainly got my money's worth. 24 hours a day for 7 years and 9+ months, is getting your money's worth in my opinion. :-) )
I was able to find a laptop with windows 10, a solid state drive (32GB) which means I will not have to wait to boot up compared to non solid state, a fairly fast processor, enough ram to do what I need, hopefully to include live streaming for $135.
What is it missing? It's missing a DVD drive and a large harddrive. I have an empty 3 terrabyte drive i will leave plugged in and back up to that.
I spent all day Sunday with an external harddrive dock saving all my files from my dead laptop to an external drive and transferring what was necessary to my second laptop.
It's very similar to thinking ahead with a plan for your quit so when you hit the wall, you know where to go and don't get stuck. If you plan, there is NO REASON to panic.
Yesterday, I suggested Nancy go to her local computer repair shop but, she had privacy concerns for financial info being vulnerable so I spent a good amount of time online looking for anything in-store local to her and shopping computers that she could receive by today and I sent my findings to her daughter. They spoke and decided to take her laptop to the local computer repair shop today.
The beauty of this is she has been without a computer for three weeks so the shock, dependency and, urgency is alleviated somewhat.
Wishing you all healthy computers and a smokefree life.