Tonight, my wife turned on the computer and the screen has stayed black. The little light on the monitor glows, but no image is visible. We hear the hard drive whirling, think it's a new noise, never noticed before. We have tried the F12 and F8 routine to get the computer to come up OR obtain an image on the monitor so we can try other methods of repair / restore.

1. Computer crashed?
2. Will installing the start up disk help? If so, is there a way to save her files?
3. Is there software that will recover her files?

If NO to all, above, is it just the hard drive? If so, I just buy another hard drive and start over?

Help?

COuld just be a glitch. sometimes removing the power lead from the back of the pc for about 5 minutes will fix it, this is because while the pc may not be powered on there is still a circuit through the mains wireing and thus the board doesn't lose power ie the led on the board will still be lit, by removing the power altogether you are letting the board reset.
Hope this helps

Another thing to could be the grapics card...check the cables are all in tight.

Did you ever get this figured out? I have suggestions about recovery her data if you need them just post back and I'll post it.