Hard Drive Dead?

I recently had a power interruption following which I have been unable to boot my computer. Windows 8 originally gave the error 0xc0000098: the kernel is missing or has errors.

Attempting to fix the problem using Windows 8 disk restoration/system restore/chkdisk tools accomplished nothing. It looked like I was going to need to reinstall Windows, so I tried a a clean install with my Windows 7 disk (did not have one available for Win8) and the installation crashed. I've gotten both Error 0xc0000e9: windows has encountered a problem communicating with a device connected to your computer and Error 0xc0000221 Windows failed to load because a critical system driver is missing or corrupt when trying to boot from the Windows 7 CD.

I've also tried installing Ubuntu, and it will run with no problems from the live USB, and I have access to the hard drive including creating and changing partitions, but if I try to actually install Ubuntu to the hard drive from the USB, I get a similar error: errno 5 - input/output error.

I've checked the ISO with MD5 and tried a couple of different distros with the exact same result.

HDD failure seems to be a common element in my research on the errors I've gotten, but I want to be very sure before I pack up the hard drive and send it back to Ibuypower for replacement, since if they find nothing wrong I get charged $100 on top of the cost to ship it to the other side of the country and back.

Is there anything else I can check before sending back the hard drive?

Relevant (maybe?)Specs:

HDD-120 GB OCZ Agility 3 SSD - Single Drive
MB-Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H -- 1x PCI-E 3.0 x16, 4x USB 3.0
Processor-Intel® Core™ i5-3570K Processor (4x 3.40GHz/6MB L3 Cache) - Intel Core i5-3570K
RAM-8 GB [4 GB X2] DDR3-1600 Memory Module - Patriot Intel Extreme Masters Limited Edition
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More about hard drive dead
  1. 1, Verify all the cables are connected properly.

    2. Do you have another known good hard drive around? If so, put that one in and see if Linux will install. If it does, it is almost certainly a bad drive.
  2. Try reading and writing files to the disk from another computer. Also is this an SSD or an HDD? You have a hard drive listed as an SSD, which doesn't make sense.
  3. Since the drive is an OCZ... did you try hitting it with their firmware software? <- select the Agility 3 from the drop down

    I have 3 OCZ SSD's and keep the firmware up to date.

    I also use ToDo Backup Free to keep an Image of my SSD on a normal HDD as a safety measure.
  4. Thanks for the replies so far.

    First, yes I have an SSD, not an HDD. Sorry about that :/

    Second, I'm not having any luck finding someone with an HDD or SSD I can throw in my computer to test. Are there any computer stores that are really good about returned items?

    Finally, I'm not having a really hard time getting anything to boot off the USB (which has kept me from running the OCZ firmware). When I try now the computer does one of the following:
    -- hangs on the BIOS screen and does nothing when I press F12 etc.
    -- boot option screen loads but is completely blank (no options to choose from)
    -- boot option screen loads correctly but when I select the USB to boot from the screen goes black and stays or goes black for a bit and then reverts to BIOS screen

    Does that change anything about the diagnosis?
  5. Reset the bios, unplug all peripherals, and try to boot into the bios
  6. I picked up a hard drive, and it doesn't seem to have helped. I get the same errors when trying to install a linux OS. The only difference is that when I try the windows 7 installation disk, it doesn't crash and give me a blue screen with an error, it loads files for a while and then just goes black. Any other possibilities? Power supply? RAM?
  7. Best answer
    Can you plu the drive into a different controller port? Most MoBo's have a SATA 2 and 3 set of ports.
  8. Turns out that both my sticks of RAM got fried. Picked up some new ones to see if they would help, and everything seems to work perfectly.

    :edit: I guess I can't pick my own post as the solution, so I'm just going to select the post above mine so the topic gets marked as solved.
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