Hi I bought the above for use on fishing trips off ebay and when hooked up to my pc I deleted two folders one "DCIM" which stored the pics and another folder called "pers" (which I took to mean personal id). After deletion I disconnected from pc and switched on the camera to test and on the lcd screen was a b&w pattern of no definate shape, the pattern is consistant whichever mode I turn on and never alters, I cannot access the menu. Was this coincidental and the screen is kaput or have I deleted a required system firmware file?
I doubt very much that you have deleted the camera firmware. Every digital camera I have come across will start up without a memory card inserted, but obviously not be able to store pictures. Also, if ou delete the DCIM folder on a memory card, then the camera should just re-create it, as it would do if you just inserted a newly purchased blnk memory card.
According to the camera manual the 301 has 16mb of onboard memory, so should work fine even without a memory card installed.
Sounds to me as if there is a fault with either the camera or screen itself. Do you have the lead included that connects the camera to a TV - if yes, then you could try that, and if it works when connected to the TV, then that would imply a fault with the camera screen.