I am unable to defragment or even analyse the hard disk as the message chkdsk /f. is displayed. However I am never able to complete this procedure as the operation stalls indefinitely or if it does occasionally complete the PC will crash and I have to reboot the whole XP OS from an external drive.
I have ignored this problem for some time now as the laptop seems to be operating OK but I feel now that I may well need to fragment the hard disk as the computer now seems to be somewhat slower in it's operation.
I have scanned with Avast antivirus and Malwarebytes etc but nothing is showing up.