Thanks for replying.
When i power on it flicks up the first screen for a second and i can see something that ends with S.M.A.R.T Capable but Disabled.
Then it beeps once and goes to the start up options screen but whichever i choose it locks up.
It has before gone to different screens where i have seen things such as FDC failure, and i know the CMOS battery is low but would that make much difference to starting?
The hard drive is detectable but i have to go into setup and tell it to auto detect it, but it does straight away and how big it is.
Very occasionally i will see the XP load screen but becoming rarer.
I hope all that makes sense! I'd hate to get rid of it if it is easily fixable.
See if you can find a BIOS update to the system you can load via a boot CD/floppy. I don't think the battery being low would be an issue, as long as the laptop is always plugged in, you will be fine.