My girlfriend has an HP Pavilion Entertainment PC Special Edition. The computer is a little more than 2 and a half years old. 2 months ago her OS crashed and I used a Ubuntu live CD to recover all her files before formatting and starting from scratch.
In the last 2 weeks, her computer has frequently locked down or just gone to a black screen, forcing restarts. Yesterday we were playing WoW and everything just froze. We ended up having to hold the power button down to force a shut down. When we turned it back on it got perpetually stuck at either the Vista loading screen, a black screen with a flashing (though unresponsive) control prompt, or a repair manager screen with several options (all of which sent you back to the beginning to get stuck in this loop again).
We decided we'd need to format, so I popped in the Ubuntu CD and force mounted her hard drive. The hard drive just contained a bunch of empty folders, yet said that only 53 gigs out of 152 gigs were free. Luckily we still had the backup from a few months ago so we decide to still format the drive.
In goes the Windows Vista install disk. Pressing F8 gets to a screen with many boot options, such as Safe Mode, Last Known Good Setting, Normal, and many more. No matter what is selected we are taken to the HP recovery manager.
In the recovery manager, there is no "advanced options" button. We click "next" after the welcome screen and then select the "yes" button at the warning screen. Next comes the "factory image recovery" screen with a progress bar. An error message immediately pops up that reads: "Error 0x200110020000100A. If this issue continues, please contact HP Support."
We're not contacting HP support because they charge $$$ for tech support.
My question: How do I format this hard drive and reinstall Windows Vista? Is that even possible at this point or has the hard drive failed?