So I had a feeling that the machine was trying to detect the hard drive before it had time to spin up.... I extended the splash screen by 15 seconds and everything boots up fine now... Could this mean the bearings in the HD are bad? Is there any other explaination on why waiting an extra 15 seconds could allow the BIOS to detect the HD? I've ran a full disk scan and everything checks out so I'm assuming its the bearings. Should the hard drive be replaced? I don't want to give it back to the customer if the drive is on it's last leg.