I'll hazard a guess Kazza
I access BIOS by hittin' DELETE KEY repeatedly at power on, before it can boot. Once in BIOS I follow thw prompts. My BIOS is Phoenix. You should first try (and I know it'll be hard w/o internet access) to google your BIOS manufacturer for some clues. The only other thing I might say is s.m.a.r.t. ... to be continued after I re-boot and check more on my own PC.
EDIT: Results 1 - 10 of about 28,900,000 for S.M.A.R.T. [definition]. google search might be frustrating with those numbers.
[Middle English, stinging, keen, alert, from Old English smeart, causing pain.]
clicking on the definition will be next to useless Hard Disk S.M.A.R.T
This allows you to activate the S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Anaylysis & Reporting Technology) capability for the Hard disks. S.M.A.R.T. is the utility that monitors your disk status to predict hard disk failure. This gives you an opportunity to move data from a hard disk that is going to fail to a safe place before the hard disk becomes offline. Settings Enabled and Disabled.~ from the Quick User's Guide K7N2G series for AMD Athlon XP 2100+ (my motherboard manufacturer)
So, in all fairness to common sense, I'd hope it is a simple matter of your board temporarily not recognizing the HDD. Try unplugging the cable and re-plugging it.
If the mobo can't "see" it's HDD(s), it can't see the operating system...therefore it can't boot. So, another option would be to try booting from a CD.
BTW, you came to the right place...even if you may have to wait a while before someone with a more solid understanding of hardware issues comes along.
Edited by phawgg, 17 September 2004 - 11:33 PM.