Got black screen on start up. Tried repair install of XP, but after selecting either partition to install in get black screen again on restart. Disk & memory test ok. Partition Manager gives invalid disk. Plugged hdd into desktop and done various malware checks - all clear. Tried to update bios from A06 to A07, using /forceit, but get 0x00000406 using Bartpe. Any ideas? Thanks.
Sounds like a hard drive that has either failed or has a corrupted boot sector. Press F12 at powerup, load the Dell diagnostics and run an extended hard drive test.
Unfortunately this is not the original hard disk and there is no diagnostics partition, but it does pass manufacturers test cd. I'll see if I can get hold off the dell diagnostic cd, or replace the hdd. Should this affect the bios update though?