Could be many things, we should start with this...
"Try Disk Utility
1. Insert the Mac OS X Install disc, then restart the computer while holding the C key.
2. When your computer finishes starting up from the disc, choose Disk Utility from the Installer menu at the top of the screen. (In Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you must select your language first.)
Important: Do not click Continue in the first screen of the Installer. If you do, you must restart from the disc again to access Disk Utility.
3. Click the First Aid tab.
4. Select your Mac OS X volume.
5. Click Repair. Disk Utility checks and repairs the disk."
Then try a Safe Boot, (holding Shift key down at bootup), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, reboot when it completes.
(Safe boot may stay on the gray radian for a long time, let it go, it's trying to repair the Hard Drive.)
Does it boot to Single User Mode, CMD+s keys at bootup, if so try...
Repeat until it shows no errors fixed.
(Space between fsck AND -fy important).
Resolve startup issues and perform disk maintenance with Disk Utility and fsck...
Thanks for your VERY quick response.
The issue however is that the machine refuses to boot, no matter what key combinations I push and whether I load the install disc or not. I always end up on the grey/white screen with the flashing question mark and the folder icon.
So anything else I could try (then bringing it to the repair shop)?
THANKS A LOT