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My suspicion is the HDD is cactus.
Any help or insight would be much appreciated.
After all that it seems to be the HDD that has given out. For some reason it is there, but won't allow Windows to be installed on any partition.
Swapped it for another HDD before, and it started up fine, allowed me to install Windows and started up again ok.
I'm not sure what else was wrong other than that, but it seems to be running for now.
Thanks everyone for the help.
Sounds like the HDD is dying.