Problem solved, it was not a dying hard drive, it was a badly corrupted OS.
Apparently he had been using the on/off switch to shut it down every day for the last few months and had corrupted the OS beyond repair.
I took the drive out and searched for partitions and saw on which was 5GB's and was not initialized, after making it active it went back in the laptop and a quick press of F8 and there it was the backup partition.
It now has a factory reset with 174 updates plus two service packs( which took nearly 8 hours to download and install, thank you Microsoft.), and works well again.
Thanks to all who took the time to reply
This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.