Thank you for the answers so far.Smack the user and give them a Windows Vista machine.
What happens if you hook it up to a second display? I think it should mirror the display by default. From there you can start to trouble shoot.
Did the machine topple during the incident, or was it a case of grabbing the wrong cord in a power strip?
Props to the user for admitting it instead of going all "it suddenly died".Even though it is something we all try to avoid, yanking the power cord should be no harder on the Mac than any unexpected power failure - perhaps even less severe since there would be no period of low voltage or transients on the line before losing power.
The Mac is, of course, designed to withstand this scenario and should power up after the power is restored (either automatically or manually depending on the option selected in the System Preferences menu).
So something is wrong with the Mac for sure. But don't be too hard on the "plug puller". They didn't kill the Mac - something inside failed that wasn't supposed to.
Absolutely. This will tell you where the problem lies.Have you had any luck booting from an EXTERNAL drive (connected via USB) that is "bootable to the finder" ... ?
The proper Mac user ALWAYS keeps around an EXTERNAL drive that has a copy of the OS on it and is bootable to the finder. This will reveal IMMEDIATELY whether the problem is related to the internal drive or is "somewhere else" within the Mac.