I believe you are referring to burning Gparted .ISO to disk, Gparted is a program that allows you access to hard drive to edit and delete partitions. I have used that program myself.
Here is the present updated link to Gparted.http://sourceforge.net/projects/gparted/
I realize your computer is not bootable without a boot partition on the hard drive, but most hard drive utility programs are bootable programs, if Gparted is burned to a cdrom disk, and you choose the optical drive as the first boot device, your computer will boot from the cdrom.
By the way an .iso image is like a zip file, but it's called an iso, you need to use a burning program that coverts iso images to an actual full cdrom disk, imgburn is free and can convert .iso images to a full bootable program on a burnable cd-r or dvd-r disk.
Imgburn web site download link. Install and run it and point it to your Gparted .iso file, the disk will be a full bootable program disk when imgburn is finished burning it. http://www.imgburn.com/index.php?act=download
choose a mirror web site from the list.
As for hard drive diagnostic software, those programs are also burned to a cdrom and that cdrom is created as a bootable disk your computer can boot to regardless of whether your hard drive is operational or not.
What is the make and model of your laptop?
If your drive is a FUJITSU drive check this link again for the FUJITSU section http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/28744/hard-drive-installation-and-diagnostic-tools/
Edited by MrBruce1959, 15 August 2010 - 07:46 PM.