I used to be PC repair tech.
Based on your story
- an event occured - turning on the vacuum
- the screen went black
- would not turn on again
- would not turn on the rest of the night.
You say that it starts to load windows and then goes for the weeds.
During start up the computer does a Power On Self Test (POST). During the POST the basic functionality of the core functionality of the computer is tested It does not test all of the computer, just the absolute minimun components necessary for the computer to begin to boot.
You say that the computer begins to load Windows, thus it can be assumed that the POST passed, the power suppply is working, hard drive is working and that the video card and the monitor are working.
When you get to some point in starting Windows, the computer starts to use certain memory locations that were not tested during the POST as they were outside the area of 'minimum" memory need to boot the computer. When these locations are accessed during the Windows boot, it heads for the weeds.
You should test the memory fully
Here is a standalone memory tester that on a bootable diskette.
Hopefully this will identify the bad memory module.
You are a BAD BAD boy. You didn't have any power protection for your computer. The power bars that are $10 and have built in "power protection" are really just extension cords / extra outlets. The "power protection" circuit is so slow to react that it is useless in the real world. If you are budget conscious, buy the Power bars with surge protection that are $50-100. If you are serious about power protection it will be more. You now, I'm sure, understand why power protection is important.
You need power protection 24 hours a day. Pentium and above computers are always ON. The power switch on the front is not a "switch". It is a button that signals the power supply wake up to got to full power mode, just like your TV remote wakes up your "instant on" feature. Your computer is "ON" all the time and can be damaged by any kind of line problems, lightning for example.
The blinking lights were the BIOS of the computer giving an error code. If they come up again write the pattern down, 3 short -1 long. Get out your manual for the computer and look for the codes. It will tell you what is wrong.
If you don't have the manual, go the manufacturer and download the manual. If you system is a clone then examine the board and you will see some sort of numbering. Google the number and download the manual. Compare the picture in the manual to your board.
Another way to find out the error codes is to watch the screen during the first second of boot and it will say that is an AMI BIOS Ver 4.03 for example. Again use goolge and you can find out what the error codes are.
Getting the manual is preferred because it will tell you wherre components are located if there is a problem. This is important, because if I'm right, you'll be replacing or removing memory.