Right, this is just freaky, I have a similar problem. You said:
"He has reset the CMOS items to auto"
Did he do this by changing the the jumper setting on the motherboard. I assume this is correct since you also said:
"When he hit F10 the system restart never fired up the screen"
It could be that he has fried his memory chip!
With all the recent thunderstorms etc, make sure you use a surge protector! Surges can blow anything connected to your computer and also corrupt data.