Yay! The laptop situation is sorted. The current theory is that the drive is fine and it's the chassis that is dead. Cos they tried putting a new drive in it and it didn't work either. So now I have a new chassis and the old drive.
I've backed up everything onto CD, so that is one weight off my mind. I also went and saw My Super ex-Girlfriend. I suspect most of you won't like it. It's mindless fun. I liked it.