Thanks Bill. That is true.
The reason I suspected the hardware was because the laptop kept shutting down as if it was not getting enough power.
The initial symptoms seemed to indicate that it is hardware related (plus some articles I found online), however I found an article which suggested I should fix the system32 files. The possibility of dealing with two separate issues is there, but from your insightful post it could have absolutely nothing to do with the battery.
Below are Microsoft's suggested commands to type at the recovery console command prompt to fix missing or corrupt system32 files:
copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak
copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config\software
copy c:\windows\repair\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
copy c:\windows\repair\security c:\windows\system32\config\security
copy c:\windows\repair\default c:\windows\system32\config\default
I have not yet attempted the above changes, as I was hoping that at least one person on this forum could steer me in the right direction and maybe suggest a better solution.
I can understand that it probably is frustrating for guys like you to answer stupid questions like these, but at the end of the day I have no experience fixing stuff like this.
Thank you for taking the time to post a reply!