Hi there graced97,
That is really unpleasant.
I believe that it would be a nice start to just see how is the drive going to be recognized under another OS. You can boot ( Ubuntu from a CD or a flash drive). Here's a thread on the Ubuntu Live CD approach: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/267999-32-recover-data-mode
If the drive is recognized under Ubuntu, you can back up the data stored on it and reformat it afterwards. Then, you can see if it is in a healthy state: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/282651-32-best-diagnostic-testing-utility
Let me know how this goes,