Hard disk failure?

I have a Samsung SP0802N ATA hard drive on an HP Pavilion a500n desktop. A while ago it stopped booting, after the "HP" blue BIOS screen, instead of GRUB (the linux bootloader) I only get a flashing bar on the upper left corner and nothing happens.

I have an NTFS partition which I am unable to mount in the ubuntu live cd, and I had an ext3 (or ext4, maybe) partition which I was able to mount and access the files. Since then I formatted the ext3 partition to an ext4 partition but I have not been able to reinstall Ubuntu in that partition.

Also, I enter disk utility (from an Ubuntu Live CD) and in SMART status I get a green dot saying disk is healthy but when I click on SMART Data and run a short self-test I get the message "Failed (Electrical)" after just a few seconds. Basically there are three things with which I am having issues:

Diagnose the problem and determine if the HD is at fault and whether it is still usable.
Recover data on the NTFS partition
If HD is still usable, reinstall ubuntu, or at least boot Windows XP in the NTFS partition.

I should also add that Disk Utility does not seem to recognize the NTFS file system (It is shown as Unknown 49 GB on the graph), but when I attempt to install Ubuntu it does recognize the partition's file system as NTFS, also when I run fdisk -l. I am following these instructions (under Using Linux to recover your Data) but the command "mount -t auto /dev/sda2" tells me I need to specify the filesystem, so when I run "mount -t ntfs /dev/sda2" I get "The device '/dev/sda2' doesn't seem to have a valid NTFS."

I greatly appreciate any advice. Thanks!
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More about hard disk failure
  1. Best answer
    The first thing that you should do is to run the manufacturers hard disk diagnostic utility available from their web site. You will probably have to do this anyway to return the drive under warranty.
  2. I already tried looking for the diagnostic utility but browsing through Samsung's internal hard drives my model is not found at all :( When I enter my model number in the search box I get some links to seagate's support page where they support some samsung models but the only tool available for donwload for Samsung's internal hard drives is the Samsung Advanced Format Utility, which is not a diagnostic tool apparently (here's the link:

    I am wondering if there is a more generic diagnostic utility.
  3. Best answer selected by marsgorski.
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