Thanks for the advice gregrocker. I did consider installing Virtual Machine, which I think may be a Sun System's program that Microsoft suggest maybe ok. However I downloaded a program to check suitability and it said my processor wasn't up to it. There seems to also be hints that some programs don't like being run this way although I have no idea why this might be. I'd certainly rather have done it this way - if you think the program you mention may be less demanding I could give it a try as long as there isn't a risk of messing the computer up - I really don't want to get into reformats etc.
i think I might be able to take the floppy drive out of my desktop and fit it in a caddy - but not at the same time as using the CD drive because that will need to caddy too. I don't understand what the unzipped driver
from my chipset is. Surely the chipset doesn't have a zipped driver installed on it? I also don't know what the f6 prompt is unless it becomes obvious when I run the XP installation.
As I understand it this slipstreaming involves putting the XP operating system setup files into a folder where i also put the SATA folders. I then make an "improved" XP setup disc from this. Have I got that right?
I may have to leave this idea for a while since I've a lot on in the next month without getting into a pickle with this laptop.
I greatly appreciate your advice and time.