I have got a friend who is using a Toshiba Satellite widescreen laptop - has only had it 18 months. It is a P4 - not sure what speed with 512MB RAM. It runs WinXP Media Centre or something like that.
Problem he has is that it keeps hanging on boot and dropping programs once booted. He has had various "experts" look at this and has had the hard disk replaced. Still has the same problem. I suspect it may be a memory issue but I am a novice so am probably wrong.
I have suggested that he tries using a Linux bootable distro to a) see if it boots ok and b) run some diagnostics. I have used Mepis in the past and recall it having some kind of memory test available.
I have never used any diagnostic programs in Linux before so would appreciate guidance as to this and the best bootable distro for this.