Could it have been a worn-out or mis-aligned cd or dvd drive, or a scratched or marred disk?
It could have just been a bad disc/ program. it was not a store bought version he tried installing.
Computer has been repaired. i was able to reinstall windows, all necessary software/ drivers, and it is up and running.
Thanks everyone for your help.
Artzdelux, thanks for this update. For information sake could you please tell us what was repaired? This helps greatly in adding to the pool knowledge.
Well, the computer would not load in anything other than safe mode without getting a BSOD. I ran memtest, scandisk, defragmenter, and Avira but was still unable to boot into normal mode.
I reformatted the hard drive and then re-installed Windows XP. It is working perfectly now (for a 6+ year old computer). I was never able to completely diagnose what was causing the BSOD and boot issues. I am guessing it was a combination of use and virus/ malware infestation.