I don't know whether this is a hard drive failure or some kind of corruption. I purchased a used Acer notebook computer from a lady who gave up on it after she couldn't boot anymore. It was apparently working well until she tried running the original recovery disks.
1. With the hard drive (a Seagate Momentus 5400 250 gb) in place in that machine I can't even boot into Linux Mint 15 KDE using the DVD drive.
2. When I remove the Seagate drive (so there's no HD in place) I can boot into Linux with the DVD.
3. The computer boots just fine with other hard drives in place, both in Linux and Windows.
4. Another computer is unable to recognize the drive when it's put into an external USB case.
5. GParted wouldn't recognize the drive when connected through the external USB.
It's possible that there is a physical problem with the drive that occurred by coincidence while she was running the recovery, but I'm not sure. I don't have any problem tossing out the drive as it has no important data, but the problem has me baffled. Anybody have an idea what could be causing this, and if the drive can be salvaged?