Hi Gang, Luddite Ron begging for tech support again! It's my son's laptop. It's about a 3 year old Compaq running Windows XP. I would really like it to last another year to finish his undergrad work at OSU. Then we can think about a new one for grad school. It's not booting up cleanly. If he hits escape while the laptop is booting, then F1, he can kinda sorta get the box halfway working. 'Recovery' didn't. Tried format and a reinstall of XP. The machine seems to make it to a point where it needs to reboot itself - then drifts off into never never land. Is this sounding like a hardware issue? Maybe the boot sector on the hard drive is fried? Are there other things I should be trying? Or do I need to run out and get a new hard drive for a fresh XP install? Thanks!! RonL.