I suggest that you run the correct diagnostic on the hard drive...before doing anything else.
Take a physical look at the hard drive...see who the manufacturer is...download the appropriate diagnostic and run the "long test" on your drive.
Hard Drive Installation and Diagnostic Tools - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/28744/hard-drive-installation-and-diagnostic-tools/
Bootable Hard Drive Diagnostics - Vox - http://usasma.vox.com/library/post/bootabl...iagnostics.html
I just saw that same message earlier today on a system I volunteered to take a look at. The "look" didn't turn out well for the owner, the drive reflected physical damage, with no access to anything on it possible.
Do you hear clicking noises when trying to use the system? In any case...run the diagnostic appropriate for that drive, after moving any data files on it to some other media.
You can move data files by temporarily attaching the hard drive as a secondary drive on another system.
Edited by hamluis, 28 January 2010 - 04:21 PM.