OK, I've exhausted my slightly higher-than-average computer knowledge, and can't even get IN the darned thing to see what's wrong :/
Dell XPS400 running Windows XP (SP2)
Loads BIOS then goes to blank screen with blinking cursor in up. left-hand corner, and that's it.
I can get into set-up, and the boot menu.
Boot device menu options are : onboard SATA HD, onboard/usb CDROM device, system setup, hard drive diagnostics, and Boot to Utility Partition.
What I've done so far:
Ran "hard drive diagnostics" from Boot menu, said everything's fine. (HD is Samsung SP2504C)
boot to utility partition = "utility partition not available"
Boot from XP installation disk. It's a friend's computer, & admin password not known (never used it day-to-day, nothing's pw protected, so they don't remember it), so I cannot "repair" from the XP disk.
Everything I see online assumes I can run in safe-mode, which I can't even LOCATE at this point. I know my Windows-repairing skills have gone down the toilet, since I'm a Mac and have been for 2 yrs now
but really, where the heck did it go?!
Anyway, I guess we can wipe it and reinstall, but is there a way to check that it's actually a corrupted file that's the problem, not some hardware that's dead,
so I don't waste my time?
Any help is greatly appreciated.