Media test failure, check cable????

Bear with me here, because my knowledge of computers is limited to: Turn it on, go on Pinterest, send a few e-mails, play Bejewelled and turn it off again.
I turned my laptop on for the first time in a week or so and got a message on the screen saying 'Media test failure, check cable. No bootable device, insert boot disk and press any key'
In simple terms, am I gonna be able to fix this myself or will I have to take it to the pervy, borderline predatory but unfortunately only computer repair guy in town??
Sidebar: I may not be any good with computers, but I'm extraordinarily good at following instructions...any help appreciated!!
It's a fairly old acer aspire, probably '03 so I get that it might just have reached the end of its life, but it's been very gently used and taken care of. My husband bought it for me when we first met and I don't wanna tell him it's broken until I know it really is!!
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More about media test failure check cable
  1. The laptop's hard drive has failed. New hard drive required.
  2. Phillip Corcoran said:
    The laptop's hard drive has failed. New hard drive required.

    Maybe that, but you should check the drive first to make sure it's not just loose or fell off the boot order. Find a friend that knows about computers, have them reseat the drive in the bay.

    Is the laptop making any funny sounds like grinding or ticking?

    Go into the BIOS, make sure the drive is seen there, then set it as the first device in the boot order. If the system does not boot after that, you can probably call it a bad drive and work on getting it replaced. A system from 03 can very well have a bad drive, their average lifespan is 3 years (or at least that is the point where the failure rate gets pretty high).

    Since you met in 2003 and it's 2013 now, what a nice 10 yr meeting anniversary gift a new laptop would make... :)
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