This problem occurs when I've applied a curve modifier to the mesh being used as a particle, in Blender 2.45.
As you can see, in the preview window the particles take on the modified shape, but in the render window they still appear round.
Also, they don't appear where they do in the preview.
Is this a glitch, or am I doing something wrong here?
Don't bother answering anymore.
You should just delete the links to this obviously non-active board.
The board isn't inactive but threads do occasionally get overlooked - I suspect that it is a bug and hence you should file a bug report.
I'm wondering if you aren't seeing clipping from the camera?
If you click on the camera you can see the clipping range. It won't
render objects to close to the camera or far away.