All right - my wife's computer died today. It gave the Apple folder-with-a-question-mark sign which says it can't find the system software. Booting from the install disk - I found out that it couldn't even find the drive.
In addition to that, the hard drive was making clicking sounds when the computer first turned on.
I was certain that the computer was fried.
However, I dug through a bunch of forums. Most of them agreed - if your hard drive makes a clicking noises, then it is probably dead. I ran through all of Apple's troubleshooting steps - nothing. It seemed that it was truly dead.
Then, at the bottom of a forum post, a poster named "deepika" gave an amazing piece of advice. I thought it was a joke when I first read it. But, since the hard drive was probably dead anyway, I felt it couldn't hurt. The advice? It seems that the drive is having trouble spinning up. Therefore, you have to "convince" it to spin up. How?