One of my friends, from the Mech dept. had a problem when he reinstalled his Windows XP while having a dual boot of XP and Ubuntu. Since, XP was not loading he called to me for help in recovering his XP via gchat!
I started of with asking him explicitly “What does your menu.lst” contain? and he replied “Empty” . Well, then i came to realize that his system was majorly screwed up. Hence, i started dishing out a flurry out commands to debug the issue, and asked him to give me the output. This process took half an hour and i constructed an entire new menu.lst for him. Before i was going to send it to him, just out of curiosity i asked him to run a “ls /boot/grub”, and check if a file menu.lst exists. and HE ANSWERED YES!!
I was quite angry then for making him waste my time, but still continued to help him. I asked him to modify his menu.lst so he could boot it properly. His system was yet not booting.
Then came the FINAL REVELATION!! It turns out the the problem was on the DESKTOP, while he was running all the debugging commands on his LAPTOP !!! At that point I did not know whether to LAUGH or CRY ?
Now I understand the reason why newbies get flamed in discussion forums for asking dumb doubts. It is not because of the nature of the question alone, it is prejudice based on their past experiences 🙂