I am assuming that you are getting what is called 'the blue screen of death', where the computer suddenly switches to an all blue screen with chunky white text, usually showing a set of hex numbers (often look like: '0xB00003F2', or similar) and a limited description, sometimes specifying a file name (often something like 'atapi.sys' or similar). This can occur during start-up, or at an apparently random time while using Windows. If so, I would advise that you need to try and get what information from the blue screen that you can, then search the net for what this represents. This may help point to what the problems is. Blue screens (of death) can be due to both hardware and software faults, and can be anything from a single file being damaged and needing replacing, to a fundamental and ultimately fatal motherboard fault. I'm not trying to worry you as such, but rather show the range of possibilities. The main thing is that it must be fixed, whatever is causing it, if you don't want to risk losing data (photos, music, films, documents etc.), even if the fault is minor - the crashes can cause disk errors that lose data (the chkdsk stuff is to try and detect these errors and fix them, though even if fixed, it's possible to lose some data, though not too often). First, when the machine first starts, you usually get some white text on black screen, before the 'loading windows' screen shows. While the white text is appearing, slowly tap your 'F8' key (once a second or so) until you get the 'safe mode' menu options (menu with items like 'start in safe mode' & 'start in safe mode with networking'). In this menu there should be an option to prevent the computer restarting on a blue screen (this is from memory, but the wording should be similar), it's nearer the bottom half of the menu, I think. this will prevent the blue screen dissapearing, so you can note any information (file names or whatever) and the 'STOP CODE'. Once you have this, find a machine with net access and start to Google, and with luck you will start to be pointed in the right direction. Post any info here and I'll help if I can. It could be that you don't actually have a true microsoft blue screen error, but some other type of error. you would need to give a detailed account of what happens, when it crashes, what it says, and what the error screen looks like, to help much more. In addition, if you can use the 'start in safe' mode to get into windows ok, you can try running a windows xp install from in windows (of the usb stick or whatever you have), and select 'upgrade mode', which will not remove what you already have, but will try to repair existing windows files that could be missing or corrupt, does always help, but rarely does to much damage in many instances. It all depends on the fault though). Many portable machines also have a special startup key ('F2' for example) that can let you reset everything back to 'factory mode' where it is setup as it was when first bought, all the installs are held in hidden part of hard disk. Have to check manuals or web site for make/model. If you just do a fresh install of XP (whatever the method), without data backups being done, you may lose everything you had on the machine like your own data files, and all additional installed programs will always be lost. Sorry for the long post, hope it helps some.