Thanks for the post
Yes, I have an original XP disk and tried the fresh intallation approach - didn't work. I have spoken to the Techguys (who are contracted by PC World to fix their PC's) at length on this one, and we tried have tried everything. They have even had my laptop for 2 days and Vista still would not load.
The laptop is more than capable of handling Vista - the general feeling is that its a bios problem or its one of the circuits on the motherboard that is blocking Vista.