@NikTh- Here is the result from the second command in terminal.
I'm guessing that the failure isn't a good sign.
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda
smartctl version 5.38 [i686-pc-linux-gnu] Copyright (C) 2002-8 Bruce Allen
Home page is http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/
Smartctl open device: /dev/sda failed: No such file or directory
@ Bashing-om can you tell me more about this destructive command or maybe a link to a walk through? I'm not worried about doing any more damage so I'm game to try anything. Or is the results of that command enough to determine the drive has gone belly up? Once again, thanks for the help. this community is the best around!