Okay, here's the deal. I have an HP dv9030us thats about 2.5 yrs old. This thing has performed like a charm since I bought it. At least until this morning when I walk in the office to see "A disk read error has occured. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart". As you can guess restarting does not fix the issue. I performed a Hard Disk Self Test in the BIOS. FAIL :-o No big deal I think, since I have a brand new 500GB drive still in the static bag. I plop it in, return to bios and run the self test. PASS. :-) Now time to install windows. FAIL. :-( I knew my built in optical drive was bad. Had been for a year. I have been using an external on the RARE occasions when I needed to read a cd or dvd. The problem I have now is that this laptop doesn't seem to have the ability to boot from a USB optical drive. In the BIOS it has boot options for USB Floppy, USB Flash, and USB HDD. But NO USB CD/DVD >:-(. The only thing I can think of is that the BIOS version I'm using is F.27, not the newest which is F.29. Since I can't load windows, I can't use hp's bios flash utility to update it. But before I bash my head through a wall over it I want to see if anyone has one of these puppies on F.29 that will boot from a usb optical. Or even better maybe one of you guys or gals has had this issue before and knows how to resolve it in some other manner. Any help or advice would be appreciated.