Just my impressions...
A failing hard drive...replaced by a drive where chkdsk cannot complete...would make me think that the first drive may have had no problems.
Primary possible candidates for seeming hardware problems are the CMOS battery, the PSU, the motherboard.
While I like HD Tune...I prefer running the hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic...on any drive where I suspect a problem.
I mentally considered a damaged file system for your current problem with chkdsk...until I read that you had previously determine that you needed a replacement hard drive.
<<When trying the recovery disc that came with the machine it locks up on the xp splash screen after completing instillation with the message please wait and never changes.>>
I've had that happen...I think that deleting the partition and trying again (I have MS XP CDs, no recovery/restore disks) solved it.
I would replace the CMOS battery first because it's the cheapest, easiest suspect to remove from contention. Then I would run the appropriate disk diagnostic on the hard drive (long test, not short).
If the file system is scrambled...I don't know what you can do...I don't know if your disks just reuse the same partition or actually delete it and create a new one. I suspect that it just uses the existing structure.
Your comment about the system running fine in safe mode...makes no sense for the symptoms you reported. Drivers have no impact on chkdsk when it's at Stage 5 (doing the free space confirmation). At that point of a chkdsk...the only factors are the drive and the file system, IMO.
Edited by hamluis, 07 March 2011 - 06:51 AM.