His neighbour is dead his neighbour's wife wife knows nothing(does not even qualify as a novice). The one asking the question admits being a novice, with Macintosh.
I am not attempting to argue.
Yes, a technician is the correct person to take the computer to.
The advice to get DW was good advice. The advice to avoid compounding the problem is good advice. I certainly would not want any of my neighbours fiddling inside my computers.
But at the same time, she has to learn how to become a competent user if she intends to start running the business with the Mac. At least my instructions may show her that she should have a Restore CD amongst the effects and also that it can be used to repair the computer. Of course none of us know what the husband initially did to the computer to make it be displaying the "unreadable disc" dialog. The manual, which also should be in the effects, does actually tell her when to use the restore CD.
You will need to use your Macintosh Restore CD to reinstall the system software if;
•your computer will not start up.
•a file or application is missing or damaged.
the manual also suggests that
This chapter describes three ways to use your restore CD's.
•you can reinstall(restore) just the system software-the files needed to run your computer-using the restore system software application.
•you can reinstall all the software that came with your computer by using the restore all software application
•you can copy one or more individual files from the CD-ROM disc to your hard disk
The restore CD is the only place she is going to find a new system, if hers is corrupted. Unless of course she either takes it to a trained Mac technician. Purchasing DW will certainly be bonus but it cannot replace a damaged system, it can only rewrite the directory..
The manual also describes how to open the computer and press the reset button.
I live hundreds of miles from the nearest Mac techician and I run a business with an old Power Mac 5500. I have had to learn how to do all of this in order to survive. If I was to die, my wife would know nothing unless I left her instructions such as the above.