when I finally tried to boot it up all that happened is the blue light in the front flashes twice and then the link light in the back stays lit for about 15 seconds.
Do you see any text or images on the screen? Does the screen seem to work at all?

If not, then the problem might be something like this. If you were having hard disk trouble, you'd at least see something on the screen.

so should I break the warranty seal and fiddle around with it,
Since the warranties have long since expired on all players, breaking the seals is irrelevant. But if you do, make sure to follow these instructions on how to properly take apart the player.
Tony Fabris