Jock1e - I'll be able to download that ISO from my sister's house as she has got fast broadband if the backups don't work [hopefully they will ... i'm using Ocster Backup Pro, which seems to work well on other computers].
PS. My sister took it back to Argos and they 'hit' her with a bill for £115 to repair the laptop [ie to replace the HD].
Just had the same problem with a SSD. Ended up formating it, after retrieving and saving all my profiles, and then using my Acronis to clone it using my backup clone.Will be interested to see if the problem reoccurs.
The faulty 320GB HDD, has a 'recovery parition' of about 20gb ... which I have succesfully used to restore the laptop to 'factory settings' on two occasions; but HD errors occur, and laptop goes 'belly-up' after a few reboots.
Can this 'recovery partition' be salvaged / transferred to the new 500gb HD?
Thanks FruitBat - that's comforting to know and will look into that; i've got laplink Disk Image Pro and Easeus Partition Manager to help out with that procedure [which were both free givaways about 3 months ago - highlighted on this forum] ... btw, CHKDSK has been runnin' for over an hour on faulty laptop ... zzzzzzz .....3 percent complete ... it could be a long night!
PS - I also purchased a new caddy along with the new SATA 500GB HD ... it's a very neat caddy device!
Jock1e - when the CHKDSK program stops, I'll physically take out 'n' install it in the caddy and have a look; then, try to tranfer, save or mount any recoverable partitions to some good spare HD's that i have kept just especially for 'little setbacks' like wot this is.
I now have a better idea what courses to follow ... but it'll have to wait 'til tomoro; thanks everbody; will let you know later if things go [to plan].