I wholeheartedly agree that you should update to sp2. There have been many fixes in sp1 and sp2.
Lottiemansion- I think that Microsoft recommends that one have a minimum of 1 Gb of Ram if you're going to run Aero. However, he's using Home Basic which doesn't have Aero. No question that more RAM is better in any case. Any thoughts?
It smells like a power supply or graphics problem except that he can run in Safe Mode. Of course, he's running on the basic drivers
in Safe Mode. It may be that he needs to reinstall the motherboard drivers from HP. I would try that first.
The other thing you can check is that the fans and the air intakes on the laptop are clean to ensure it's not an overheating problem.