So I booted up my 3 year old macbook today and found myself facing a perpetually gray screen. Occasionally, an icon of a question mark superimposed on a folder would flash. After some digging around, I found out that this is most probably an indication of a dead HDD. But I wanted to make sure....(if its not related to the HDD, then I might have to spend a LOT more on repairs). The CD/DVD drive works, and I'm able to launch both the installation disks that came with my macbook and a copy of Ubuntu 10.04...but it takes around 5 minutes + for the disks to actually boot...is this normal? Also, I'm currently running Snow Leopard but I can't find my SL disk...I've been using my Tiger disks (from 3 years ago) to run disk utility. When I try to verify or repair my mac partition, I get the following messages: "Error: The underlying task reported failure on exit." I'm not even sure if Tiger can repair an SL disk, so I don't know much I can trust these results. How can I be sure my HDD is dead? Should I try reformatting it first?