Well I re-installed Windows Vista and all the drivers and utilities (an amazingly lenghty process!) and then fired the thing up and it seemed to install correctly. I re-installed my ISP utility and that, too, seemed to work fine.
That took me up to about 2pm this afternoon - when I had to go out for a few hours.
Although I had already, of course, put on the firewall, etc - I hadn't at this stage re-installed the anti-virus software (Norton). That's what I've just been doing and that seemed to work OK - LiveUpdate, etc, anti-virus software switched on. All seemed to be OK. Last thing to do was to run a full scan - and this too seemed to be working OK, until roughly 270,0000 files had been scanned (see * below) then the whole thing freezes up!
Switched off at main power button and back on - told it to do a normal re-start. OK. Did a further full scan and it blocked up AGAIN after roughly 230,000 files. Frankly, I'm completely fed-up with Vista! I want to go back to XP!
* I recall from a full scan before this whole nonsense started a week ago that there were something like 170,000 files in all for my anti-virus software to scan. Looking at the window as it was scanning today it is clear that ALL the software and files from before I re-installed Windows Vista this morning have been stored in an 'old' section - so the re-formatting has not in fact booted anything out at all - so the re-scan is possibly still coming up against whatever the problem was before.
To repeat: I'm completely fed-up with Vista! I want to go back to XP! (For information this post is being done on my Vista machine - yes, it works after a fashion, but is obviously still not 100%>)
Right, I'm off to get supper. Tomorrow I'm taking a test-drive of a possible replacement for my existing car - maybe I'll be in a better mood after that. Sigh ...