Third visit by the Dell Inspiron 6000. This time it can't boot at all. Well not totally true, it boots to an XP splash screen then loops back through BIOS screen in an endless loop. Stop it with F8 and get into boot options, try Safe Mode boot, just keeps looping. Disable automatic restart on failure and try again. Nothing. Just keeps looping.
Insert the OEM XP disk and get to the command prompt run chkdsk /r. Took about 4-5 hours to run. Surprisingly long for an 80GB drive IMHO. Did end up finding and repairing many bad sectors.
Once chkdsk was done it rebooted, went straight to a log on prompt and was able to log in and use the machine without issue.
I suspect that the laptop HDD was in the process of being read from or written to and was jostled about causing physical damage to the platter(s). I have had similar cases before. One which caused the very famous mup.sys error on another machine I worked on before. Just one forum on the mup.sys issue that started in 2004, and continues to have active entries to this day is 42 pages long and 825 replies and 742729 views! Link to that forum: http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/31874/
Thanks for reading,
Anthony C. Goodwin