Thanks Bier and fishpie. My travel commitments left me stuck for time to get the best quality service and I paid the price for that, figuratively and literally! Two weeks ago it crashed again, through my terrible Spanish I managed to bring it to a shop here in Chile. They fixed it in three days, for half the price and it runs better now than it did before. They also installed antivirus, and microsoft office (which I had lost the first time I got it fixed).
I am clearly not the person to ask in this situation, however I'm sure you'll get the help you want from much more tech savvy people than myself.
I don't know much about computers myself, mate; hence my Acer's hard drive has disappeared or lost it's bearings or something. The word is probably "corrupted", but again I don't know how/why that happened or what the solution is except replacing it, and who's to say if I did that it wouldn't happen again?
I think the best thing is to ask someone who does have a clue about these things.
Btw, where in Chile are you? I've just returned from a 3 month trip to Uruguay/Argentina where I met a load of Chileans and I know another who I met in Barcelona and now lives in Madrid. Great people (as with the Uruguayans), great times. Now I'm sitting here in Scotland no less with my mate (the drink) watching the rugby!