Is this a dead hard drive problem?

I just bought a Toshiba Satellite laptop advertised as having a "dead hard drive". I tried booting it up just to see what was going on and I'm not sure that's the case (but don't know enough about computers)

Anyways, on boot up it says something to the effect of "no bootable device, insert one and hit any key". If i insert either a disc or USB drive with an OS (I've tried win 7 and vista) they both freeze shortly after the splash? screen (I get the animation as if the OS is loading) and then black screen that I can move my pointer around on.

Then I got on bios to poke around and the laptop detects the hard drive and correctly identifies it (model # and size) making me wonder if maybe the HD isn't actually that sick afterall? I chose an option like "restore from HDD" or something to that effect and the same thing happened, I got to a splash screen and it froze.

Does this sound like a dead hard drive to you expert computer geniuses?

I'm fine with it being a dead HD since that's what I bought - if it's a problem with the motherboard I will probably return it, as that kind of a problem is far and away over my head.

**EDIT** I tried installing an OS with the HD removed and I could progress further, up to the point where I had to choose a hard drive to install onto...I got stuck there because I had no options.
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More about dead hard drive problem
  1. Hey thanks for the diagnostic tool. I have 1 question about it, can I burn the iso image onto a USB drive, or does it have to be a CD? I put the image on a USB and here was my computer's reaction to it:

    "Remove disks or other media.
    Press any key to restart" [Me pushing a key]

    {unimportant model #'s and copyrights}

    "Check cable connection!
    PXE-MOF: Exiting Intel PXE ROM.
    No bootable device -- insert boot disk and press any key"

    Is anyone able to glean anything useful from that info? I have plugged in and out the hard drive a couple times while I was messing around with the O/S installations and as far as I can tell, everything is properly connected (I don't know if maybe the cords are faulty).

    It's probably just a dead drive, but I want to make sure before I sink however much $$$ I do if that isn't the problem.

    Many Thanks!

    **EDIT** Assuming this is a dead drive, does anyone have a favorite website/store to buy hard drives from? I'm thinking I'll try to keep my current laptop running until newegg has a shell shocker for a laptop drive, but if anyone can point me towards cheaper drives with a decent return policy in case it's DOA that'd be great!
  2. Hi,
    Figured I'd update this in the off-chance someone can help me interpret what I've been trying to do to figure out the laptop problem yet. Seems there are more question askers than answerers on this website ;)

    Bullet points of findings:
    * This isn't a faulty cable
    * I'm still not sure if the HD is dead, or just currently messed up since it is detected on BIOS, but doesn't seem to want to work

    Today one of my friends lent me his old laptop HD to try out. The first time I just let it boot up normal and it started to load xp, then I got a blue screen of death (for about 1/10th of a second) and then it went back to the "toshiba innovations" screen and asked me how i wanted to boot up (safe mode, safe mode with options, restart as normal, etc) matter what I chose I got blue screen and reboot.

    Then I plugged a USB with windows vista in it and it loaded up like a normal computer when you want to install a new operating system and let me go all the way to picking the drive i wanted to install on.

    The next thing i'm doing is plugging the broken? drive into my current dinosaur laptop to see how it responds to it and that should give me a good idea of whether or not it is the drive that's bad, or something on the motherboard/interface of the other computer...hopefully. I will update when I figure out
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