Let me start by saying that I don't know much of anything about computers as far as the technical part goes, but this is what's going on...
The laptop, it's an HP Pavilion Entertainment PC with Windows Vista, randomly wouldn't boot up last night. It would sound like it was going through the motions, but nothing appeared on the screen and then it would shutdown and start up again, and again, and again....I turned it off for the night to see if it just needed a break. It usually stays on 24/7.
Needless to say, the problem didn't fix itself. I took out the battery and this time at least the HP screen would show up before restarting itself and going blank again. I repeated that and this time hit ESC only to get a screen that said the opperating system can't be found.
I did this again and hit the option it gave me, F10, and when I ran the hard disk self test it came back, "No IDE Device". I've found several forums that talk about this problem, but most of them were people that took apart their computer prior to getting this message so it wasn't helpful to my not so techy brain.
What I'm wondering is if this is a common problem that I can be walked through or if I should get professional help. My BIGGEST crisis is that we just did a lot of out of the country traveling and I haven't had a chance to back it up (so stupid, I know) and it's the ONLY place I have photos.....I need to take whatever route won't wipe the computer clean.