Well, several questions first: 1) What metering mode? 2) What exposure mode? 3) AF or MF? 4) What CF Card is your friend using? 5) Is the card fully seated in the camera? 6) Does the LCD show any menu settings?
In regards to metering, he believes that it was either spot or center weighted. He was shooting in full manual; therefore manual focusing, f-stop and shutter are unknown (no EXIF). He could remember exact brand or type, but believes it is 8-16 gb. He did try different card. Both had been used successfully in past. Card that was in D80 had recorded photos from the previous session. LCD on back is totally blank, Screen on top is indicating settings.