I’m not sure whether this is the right forum. But my wife’s laptop opens with the message “operating system not found.” If left off for a while I can sometimes get it to boot to Windows 2000 Professional. But then, unexpectedly, it will blue screen with “physical memory being dumped” and proceed through a slow checking of the hard drive. The laptop is old and I wonder whether the hard drive is at the end of its days. But finances force me to keep it going as long as I can?

Yeah, it's pretty much toast.
Do you have a good (and recent) backup of anything important.

> But finances force me to keep it going as long as I can
What about the value of any work you're going to keep losing with the random BSODs?
Or the general annoyance factor just as you're reading a web page or whatever else you're doing.

Two things
1. Start watching ebay for a great deal. If you're willing to bide your time for a while, then something will show up eventually.
2. When you've got your replacement, then sell your faulty one for spares. The net cash will be less.

Or maybe you could find a replacement HD - do you have everything to reinstall the OS and drivers?

Thanks! Toast is pretty confirming. I could look for a new HD but it seems a waste of money. The screen/lid has cracked badly so the whole thing is pretty much falling apart anyway. Not sure I'd get much for it as spares. But everything is backed up and either I'll look for a refurbished laptop or something as you say on eBay.