Hello mikeymayhem, and Welcome to Linux Mint (even if you can't install it properly) It sounds like your hard-drive had died, as that is the only problem I can think of with those systems. You say you *had* to reboot, but are you aware of the ctrl+alt+del shortcut for restarting the graphical interface without rebooting? I guess the reason there's no repair option is because it's not worth it, Mint installs in *under* half an hour, and very few people have unrecoverable problems like yours, so it's not worth the development effort.
If you have a question that has been answered and solved, then please edit your original post and put a [SOLVED] at the end of your subject header
Hint - use a google search including the search term site:forums.linuxmint.com