Imagine the panic one normally feels, and factor in that this is the machine on which I'm doing the first actual freelance work I've had in months.
So, I called mneme.
"You did what? Okay, this wasn't anything you did. I can't diagnose from here. What? You don't have to wait till Monday to call ASUS. Give them a call now; it's Saturday."
So, I did. The tree of options was relatively painless, and the wait not too dreadful.
"May we have someone call you back? There's a very high volume of calls."
"But -- But, my computer isn't working! It turned itself off and won't go back on!"
Well, whether it was the panic in my voice, the level of the problem, or the fact that there was a Known Thing To Try, this changed things.
"It won't turn on? All right. Unplug it and take out the battery."
I'd already unplugged it. The nice man was very patient as I blew my Find The Battery roll. It's not like it has many places to hide! And I'd done it at least once before.
"There are two buttons, one to unlock, and one to slide it out," he said.
Eventually, I found it, and slid it out, despite having trimmed my nails. (Believe me, untrimmed nails should not be on my hands!)
"Now, keep it off for 10-20 minutes, then plug it in, without the battery, and turn it on."
"But, what if that doesn't work?" I did not want to let the nice techie person go until I was sure my computer was up and running.
"Then, call back at once," he said, and was patient as I blathered an apology for the panic.
Well, that seems to have done it, to my vast relief. mnemex theorizes that the computer crashed hard, and the battery was sort of simultaneously keeping it barely running and not letting it recover.
Ironically, I was in the middle of a hard drive back up when things crashed. The external drive has what may or may not be a partial back up before it crashed. Not sure whether to keep it or blow it away and start from scratch. Probably the latter.
Regardless, many thanks to ASUS for still having a tech support department on a weekend, and at least one person capable of grokking that the person you're talking to is one of the customers you've got a high volume of and does actually merit the support.