This brings bad memories.
This article brings back bad memories of a problem I spent weeks trying to solve back in the KA7/Slot Athlon era (I think it was, although it may ave been the K6-2?), back when certain configs of Via chipsets with AMD chips and Soundblaster cards could be an issue.
A friends machine kept crashing at random but mainly during or just after gaming (not surprising, he was a heavy gamer), it didn't matter what he was doing every now and then it would hard lock and require a full reset via the switch.
So I duly did all the patching, disconnected non essential hardware, checked the memory (and swapped it for spares), checked the drives, reinstalled windows (again), tried it without the sound card etc.
Over the space of about a month or more I must have stripped the machine down fully at least three times, reinstalled everything a couple of times and I couldn't get it to recreate the issue when I was working on it (I went as far as to sit the machine next to mine and use it for gaming for a couple of days), nor did I see it happen until one day I was at his house and it happened whilst I was setting up his email after an install, suddenly it struck me that the crash happened just as the mouse moved and pulled the cable a bit..
On a hunch I swap the mouse with mine (same model) and plug it into my home machine, and after a few days I have the same crash whilst answering an email.
It was an Intellimouse V3, and it had a bad conductor so every now and then it lost it's connection when moved, but because it was mainly happening in the fast movement's involved in gaming when the mouse cable was being jerked around it looked like a problem with the system mainly under the stress of gaming (overheating/graphics/sound driver etc).
Now this was was back before you had many USB slots so it was being used via it's PS2 adaptor, and the computer did not like that mouse suddenly dropping off when the computer was in use and froze, if it had been via the USB port it would just have disconnected and reconnected.
From memory that version of the mouse became a bit notorious for failing due to a lack of strain relief where the cable exited the mouse, I know I got through 2 replacements under warranty (having made sure to swap to the USB connection ;) ), and most of my gaming group who were using them ended up with at least one RMA replacement (MS were great with the CS for them).
Great mice, really poor design on that one part and I suspect it cost MS a fair chunk of cash, I know it cost me some grey hairs.
It taught me a valuable lesson - check everything, don't assume it's the problem that is commonly reported and don't discount anything.
The lesson about helping out friends and family with IT problems without suitable remuneration took a few years longer and didn't really set in until the day my brother turned up at 10pm at night with one of his friends to ask me to sort out a laptop issue, fortunately it was simple (text size changed) and I managed to remain calm, but afterwards I made it very clear I wasn't doing it again (I'd just gone to bed after a bad day when the door went so was really not amused to be answering the door for what I thought was an emergency to be ambushed into fixing some strangers machine in my PJ's).