Dell Dimension 4700 it won't boot
Dell Dimension 4700
XP 35 GB HD with adequate free space and 2 GB of RAM (Max for this machine)
Last used in April. Today, I attempted to boot to clean the HD to give to a collge age person
When power is turned on, it starts the boot process and the HD light flickers and the does not relight at all. Plus, when first powerednup, it gives off 4 to 6 "beeps" and then quiet. The monitor remains dark. Except there are three buttons to the left of the monitor light, when I punch any one of them it tells me I'm in safe mode and to click any key or click the mouse. Then the message goes away and the screen is dark again.
Sometimes the fans run like normal, other times they do not start when turned on.
I've checked all connections and tried anything I know which is limited.
There were no problems when discontinued using in April. I had a new laptop and thought I had become familiar enough with Win 8.1 to make the switch.
What am I facing, HDD or motherboard failure? Thanks for your input.