I'm going to try and put as much information in as possible since I'm basically clueless at this point.
Previously, I had Ubuntu 9.04 installed on my laptop and so I tried updating to Ubuntu 9.10 (this was before 10.04 came out). Unfortunately, it wouldn't install at all for some reason. I had tried various ways to install whether it be redoing the Live CD, trying a USB Key, formatting to different file systems, etc. I then got a different type of error that read that it couldn't format the hard drive to ext4, which was surprising since before, it could easily do it. I decided to try and see if the XFS file system would work and it didn't, so I restarted again and this time it wouldn't restart properly.
The logo appeared and just stayed there and when I tried to go to the setup, it would output a single beep and do nothing. I restarted thinking it may have been a fluke, but it happened again. I can't remember how I figured it out, but I found out that the hard drive was causing the hang. I inserted a boot disk that runs DBaN (Darik's Boot and Nuke), so I could do a low-level formatting so that everything was wiped (I was doing quite a lot of these when trying to get the OS to upgrade). After inserting, the BIOS was fine; It loaded itself up perfectly, so I inserted the hard drive after the BIOS had finished starting up and zero-wiped the hard drive.
I then restarted, keeping the drive in and lo and behold, the BIOS had hung once again. I went and did some research to see if anyone else had the same problem, but there was nothing, so I gave up and after a couple months, I decided to come here to see if I could get some help on fixing this BIOS hang up with the hard drive.
Laptop: Acer Aspire 3680
Hard drive: Samsung HM160HC SpinPoint (160GB/5400RPM/8M/PATA)
So, there's my story
. I can provide more information if needed as well.