Desktop computer, about 6 years old but used sparingly. XP home addition with service pack 3.
After clicking start, computer commences to boot normally until... we get the windows XP logo with the little bar.. the blue pieces moving left to right. Sits there for a bit then black. You hear the XP shutdown sound, light comes on the monitor that signifies no signal. I think the computer is still running... just black screen and no response to anything. When the start/stop button is pushed it shuts off. I've repeated this several times.
Started in safe mode... that seems to work. Tried going back to "known configuration - that didn't help. Did the system restore to 3 days ago, that didn't help.
Ran an check for viruses with Norman.. clean. Checked the "General" tabe in the System Configuration Utility, it ppears to be the same as this laptop (selective startup - check marks in all, altho "load start up items" seems to be grayed .
No hardware has been installed recently, no upgrades.
I have the installation disc that came with the computer from Dell. Was considering installing that and doing a "repair".. maybe run a fixmbr.. a little uneasy about this, will I lose everything?
this computer is my neighbors who only does e-mail and a little stock trading.. 84 YO and I'm trying to help but I'm at a loss.