With a new notebook running Vista it was impossible to sync the iPAQ anyway so it sat forgotten 'till today...
I went hard and Scroogle Scrapped for anything that might let me rollback or speed the poor thing up.
For the benefit of other HX4700 owners, i found ROM flashing being the answer
and downloaded WM5 speed hacks by kozhura. I can confirm the iPAQ has a new lease of life in the speed department. The old thing even runs ActiveSync with the notebook now but here's a laugh. Windows Media Sync option for music files (onto any kind of PDA's SD card i guess) can be better and far far quicker done using Explore (with the SD in the USB extened knuckle slot) just copy the folder across.....
Am i missing something or is Windows truly WINDBLOWS as its always been????