Even after swapping monitors, a friend's Dell is starting immediately to multi-changing-color checkerboards whether trying to start normally, enter BIOS, F8 or F12. Previously she could see the Dell logo and Advanced Boot tools choices, but no longer.
It appears it has onboard graphics chip so I cannot recommend reinstalling video card. There is no way to see what happens when trying to enter BIOS, Safe Modes, or boot DVD.
I am not enough of a hardware expert to know what this means or even advise her any further. I am hoping someone can give us the next steps. I can do some basic hardware troubleshooting for her, but nothing too major.