My camera appears to work: makes a noise as you depress the shutter. However only a completely black photo is actually taken. In fact no photo will even show up in the digital screen. Any one else had a similar situation?
The simplest explanation for your problem is that someone forgot to remove the lens cap.
You have some possibilities here:
Hunt the cause by taking out the memory card from the camera (you have a card in it, isn't it?) an put it on a card reader. Alternatively you can use the camera as a 'card reader' by simply connecting it to the computer.
There are photos on the card? (usually these are in a subfolder of the DCIM folder)
If not, then you must ask a more knowledgeable friend, or, most probably, take it to a technician.
If yes, download/copy the photos on a directory of your choice. Have a look.
The photos are black?
...btw, can you post a sample here?
If yes, check your lens cap. :-) ...or any other thing which might obstruct the light path.
If not, IOW the photos are ok showing what you expect, then simply the rear screen is disabled.