I was given an old laptop by a co-worker last week as it had broke down according to him and he was about to throw it away. As a computer enthusiast and collector I wanted to check it out first, even just for parts. I assumed that probably the memory was faulty and ran memtest86 for a while, no problems there. Well, what the hell, let's see if it boots... It wasn't that broken after all.
The only problem was Windows XP didn't start properly, just bluescreened and instantly rebooted. Boot into rescue mode from the XP install disk and a chkdsk run fixed that problem and the laptop "works" just fine again.
And if that wouldn't have fixed it a "simple" re-install would have been the other option.
This started me thinking, how many computers are considered broken by normal computer users just because it won't boot ? And how many of these computers are thrown away ?