A friend was recently told by a local repair shop his faulty PC required a new hard drive and quoted £150 cost. I said I could do it for the cost of the hard drive however I first tried another RAM stick and happily it worked. The only problem I have is the RAM at the moment is only 256mb as it's all I had knocking about at the right spec for his XP system. I'm waiting for delivery of 1gb to put in it, but can you just tell me in the meantime if this is the reason IE is not connecting properly (I get the Home page come up but a box appears in front saying 'Internet Explorer cannot connect to www.etc, Operation aborted') Firefox connects and works fine (albeit slow).
algernonymous, it could also be something as simple as a problem with the homepage(s) that IE's set to. Go to control Panel -> Internet Options and delete everything in the "Home Page" section. Enter a new valid homepage, click OK then open IE and see if it now behaves.