I had a very similar problem with an EA game C&C Generals. In my case it was several changes I made that resolved the issue. I changed freq to 75hz, I updated to the latest DirectX9.1(I think the directX really fixed it) and I also downgraded my NVidia drivers by one version. Then my game ran. So I guess consider these questions:
What video drivers and settings does your friend have?
What video card?
Version of DirectX?
Is he playing from the original CD?
Monitor resolution and freqeuncy?
Consider doing all these and updates and then a reinstall of the game as well. Hope any of those suggestions help.