Thanks Tullie - if only it were that simple. My win 7 machine will not allow me even to dual boot. I would be very happy to use my absolutely genuine Windows XP disk, but my system will not allow it. Can't dual boot, can't make an ZXP partition....NOTHING I think I may throw this win 7 machine into the sea!
What is Killdisk, please? And how would that help?
This Win7 machine has been to the repairers twice, and come back in exactly the same state, except that they had lost a lot of my files.
This machine was originally bought from Ebay. I had it for about three hours, and then it exploded. Yes, exploded! Ebay/Paypal refunded my money, and the machine was then completely rebuilt, until this week when it stopped working again, and was "repaired again.....only I am beginning to think that the repairers didn't quite know what they are doing. I live in Cyprus, and this company is considered the best!
One way which should work, even though it is a plodding way to do it.
Assuming you have another PC. Take the Win7 loaded HD out of its computer and either lash it up as a temporary second HD on the other computer,... or ... Fit it into an external case with USB connection.
That sounds really promising, but how do we know that the problem IS the hard drive - the repairer is suggesting that that is impossible, and the problem may be with the actual components he put in, rather than the hard drive. How can I tell which is right?
Do you mean that you changed to W7 on this computer? It doesn't alter the probability that you can install XP on this computer using a brand new HD. Make sure that you have a full XP installation disk and not merely a recovery disk. You need the full disk if you are going to use a new HD and the new one must be the same type (IDE or SATA). The capacity or make doesn't matter as long as it has a similar or larger capacity, and suits your pocket.