Laptop keeps going black...

First of all I am not quite sure what section this should go in since I dont know exactly whats wrong but maybe someone could give me some points of what to try.

My friend has an older Toshiba laptop maybe 3-4 years old.
It was dropped recently after he got it, and the screen is shattered but everything else runs (ran) fine on it.
One day in mid use recently his screen (hooked up to a monitor) just goes black and then he has nothing.

He brought over his laptop and we tried to boot into Windows (XP) but nothing would happen, the loading screen would come up then it would just go black like he said.
I threw in a LIVE CD of Ubuntu to grab his files he wanted to save from his HD, but the auto mount would not not work, giving me errors ( few weeks ago dont exactly remember the errors), then i tried to manually mount the drive which still would not work.
So then I threw in a LIVE CD of Damn Small Linux, this was able to mount and let me navigate and successfully copy all the files he needed of it (Distro was never installed just used everything on the live cd).

So now that we had his important files off, it was time to reinstall Windows.
He has a XP restore cd that Toshiba sent him that boots into Norton Ghost with an image of the OS.
All is good, but during the process screen goes black and we lose all progress.
Ok try again, same issue,
3rd times a charm, no its not, still kills out while loading the image.
All of these fails happen at different progress percentages of the image loading.

I have an old copy of XP Pro laying around, so I boot into it and start installing it.
Attempted this as well 3 different times, having the screen go black during this process as well at different times.

Where could I start next for trouble shooting?
I dont know if there could be an issue with his HD that it takes on a load of X and then fails out and we lose everything, but then again I was able to recover 5gb of files from the HD in a linux distro with no problems other than mounting in Ubuntu.

Motherboard, cpu ....?

If you have any troubleshooting advice, software for me to boot into and attempt, please let me know.

Whenever I mention that the screen was going black...
Whatever I was currently doing the pc rebooted at that time (hence it went black and just hung there with a blinking cursor)

3 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    To eliminate the hard disk as a cause, you could try using a spare laptop disk instead. You were never able to completely install the OS or boot successfully?
  2. Fixed...
    I found a free product called Ultimate Boot CD with some diagnostic software on it, and with a scan of the HD i saw that there were two bad sectors, ran a repair utility and everything is going good again.

    Thanks for pointing out the HD...
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