Ooookay. So cables have been yanked from the hard drive(1), and the whole thing has been re-tested, using the boot from the cd thingymajiggy. And that test turned up no errors, everything passing, since the hard drive was unplugged. So, great Yodas of the computer world, I humbly ask: what does this mean? Hard drive borked? Or what? (And if that's the quicker and cheaper fix, I think I might actually be hoping for that, despite what it means for data...)
(1) - After a small kerfluffle during which I ended up forgetting that down was up and up was down now, and ended up unplugging my cd drives(2), which is why there were two "hard drives" when I didn't THINK I had two. Then I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't let me boot from the damn CD...
(2) - And accidentally broke an imp's ear (sample bottle of perfume) that I didn't realize was sitting close to my computer tower, so now my computer room reeks of Alice(3).
(3) - And for once, I'm weary enough that I'm not even going to make the obvious joke. -_-