Thanks for all the replies.
tyyp: Tried all those already with no change for myself.
zalooa: If you find anything let us know.
digtlpete: I’ll give that a try, it sounds plausible. What Graphics card are you using ?
Just before my crash I can see the little box squares appear - then it seems to stumble. It can’t possibly be system memory (2 Gigs + Max XP swap file on 2x Xeon machine) because it renders fine, although slowly on my laptop (700kb ram).
I’ll post my results from clearing the Material Editor.