I just broke the bad news of the Dead Dell to my friend, and he was ranting and raving about his (and I quote his remarks) "His stupid mother in law, that he wanted to kill her for ruining the family computer. Now the kids don't have a computer to work on...." I am working on providing my friend a solution to the problem. The hard drive is still intact, with all the family data. I plan to put it into an external enclosure and back up all the important family files to a working PC with a DVD burner.
I am on the hunt for a replacement Dell 2400 or 3000 to put the hard drive into. My friend is without any internet access since his main computer is dead now.