subxero Thu Mar 27 2008 at 7:43 am By "hit F8" do you mean...
.. get to the Windows startup menu that lets you select things like Safe Mode, or do you mean the menu that some ROM BIOS programs have built in that lets you select a boot device?
Either one, it shouldn't matter -- the hard disk itself should have nothing to do with letting or not letting that menu appear. If the data on the disk is wrong -- e.g., your boot loader is toast -- then that would make a difference, but usually bad boot loaders result in nothing working at all.
Have you tried backing up everything to CD-ROM/DVD-ROM or another hard disk/computer and then completely zeroing the drive, followed by a nice, fresh install of whatever you've got?