How do I solve error: DISC BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISC AND PRESS ENTER

I built the following pc about 6 months ago and it has been running fine.

Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
MOTHERBOARD - Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS4
RAM - 8gb (4x 2gb) G.Skill PQ Series PC-6400 DDR2
GRAPHICS CARD - Palit GeForce 9800 GT (installed on the PCIE 16 slot)
POWER SUPPLY - Tagan TG-800-U33 Force II v2 800watt
HARD DRIVE - Seagate Barracuda 500gb w/32mb cache

However, it will not boot.

On switching on power, the GIGABYTE motherboard screen stays on for much longer than normal, and then it looks like the hard disk is not recognised - the following message appears:

DISC BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISC AND PRESS ENTER

I have checked the BIOS, and my hard disc does not seem to be listed.

I have tried installing a new hard disc - this is recognised.

I have tried swapping the power and SATA cables for the new disc with the old disc. The new disc is recognised, but still the old disc with the operating system is not.

Any thoughts?
jollipopAsked:
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DuaneMizellCommented:
Probably a bad disc, but you could always buy a SATA 2 USB converter and make sure the drive is functional. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812186036)
Also, try updating the BIOS for the mother board.
For right now, I would try putting that drive in another computer, or grabbing the item mentioned above from newegg and trying to access it that way.
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jollipopAuthor Commented:
Many thanks - this is what I needed - a way forward, although you confirmed my fear that the most likely cause is hard disc failure. I will update the bios, try the USB gizmo, and if it appears the disc is working, I will create a new post for new ideas. Your help is appreciated.
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