I have a 2007/2008 MBP 2.4Ghz running 10.6.2. I was having repeated hard crashes due, I think, to some stupid firefox mods I made a few days ago. Every 1-3 hours, the system would freeze, make that crackly thinking really hard noise, spin the beach ball, and wait for me to hard restart. This happens 3 or 4 times today, and on the last crash, the system hangs on restart. Grey screen, spinning grey circle of circles for 10 or so minutes. I can't wait any longer, so I hard restart again, and again the system hangs indefinitely. Now I start to get a bit worried. I boot from the Snow Leopard install disk and open disk utility. From there, I attempted to verify permissions, but the process hangs with one minute remaining for at least 20 minutes. A crash while trying to repair a crash. Great. So I hard restart AGAIN, and open disk utility, this time selecting repair disk. The utility detects a few errors, supposedly corrects them, then hangs for about 2 minutes, finally culminating in the hard drive disappearing act. The bar looks complete, but the hard drive is gone from the list! GONE! I can't select it from the sidebar in Disk Utility. It doesn't show up in the Startup Disk menu. The only drive I can access is the dvd drive with the Leopard disk. I opened System Profiler and looked under Serial-ATA, and found the only entry was for an Intel ICH8-M ACHI....I don't remember that being there. It used to be a Matsushita drive.... So that's where I'm at right now...can't find anything on google, and I want to do whatever I can before giving up hope on all my data. Haven't made a backup in a WHILE... Anyone? Help?