Guys, sorry for delay in returning to work on this problem and getting back to you, but heres the latest:
Any suggestions that required first booting up into Windows I couldn't use as I couldn't get into Windows AT ALL.
I downloaded and unzipped memtest but my laptop wouldn't run the install.exe, a dialogue box came up saying... "The system file is not suitable for running MSDOS or microsoft windows applications"
The link to the microsoft page for 0x00000050 errors said it was a memory error / RAM error.
It suggested disabling cache in BIOS but I dont have those options.
I tried the following things but the symptoms were exactly the same...
I replaced the single RAM stick on my motherboard.
I moved the stick to the next slot along.
I swapped the video card for another (I dont have anything else plugged in to the M/
So, I got my Xp disk and tried both the repair and the install options, in both cases the install came to a halt with the same BSOD message as before: error code 0x00000050 PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA.
At this point I was thinking that it must be a motherboard problem, as the only other thing I hadn't changed/eliminated was the hard disk and I assumed that any corrupted file on that wouldnt affect a new install of Windows??
Anyway, just to eliminate the hard drive I borrowed a friends spare 8 gig disk and attempted an Xp install, and...its gone through and installed and runs?!
Obviously I've still got the problem of trying to access my data on the old drive and I probably need to buy a new drive with larger capacity, but it SEEMS now that it was the drive or a file on it that was causing the problem??
Any thoughts would be appreciated?
Thanks for your suggestions.