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MBP won't boot due to hard disk problem

Answers: Have 15 answers
I have a late 2008 which just started to have problems booting up.
The trouble started a week ago, when my MBP would shut down unexpectedly while I'm working(on battery power). When I tried to reboot from battery power it didn't work. However, it's not the issue of low battery level. I had plenty juice in the battery. So I attached to the mag safe power supply, it would boot up again.
On yesterday morning after another unexpected shut down, I plugged the mag saft back in and hope it would boot up again. Never again. It will alwasy stuck at the gray screen with a spinning circle. So I did quite a few standard checks such as booting from Snow Leopard install DVD, and run DiskUtility. It tells me my MBP Hard Drive has problems and can not be repaired. So I figure it's the HD problem. Now I just want to salvage some data off from that HD, get a new HD and start over again.
I tried to boot from DiskWarrior 4.2 DVD, it didn't boot up. It boot up fine with Snow Leopard DVD. So the optical drive works fine.
The HD is the Hitachi 7200rpm travelstar 250GB.
Any advice?
The best answer: I totally agree with making a Super Duper copy of the drive before proceeding with anything else--that creates an exact copy of the problem drive so that everything is preserved. It would also create a duplicate that could be used to experiment with.
One way to do this is to get the replacement drive for the MBP and place it in an enclosure, maybe even using one of OWC's kits. The MBP's drive is already mounted on the Mac Pro's desktop, and the new drive in the enclosure can also be mounted on the MacPro's desktop and properly formatted using Disk Utility. Then Super Duper can be launched and used to copy the MBP's drive to the new drive. Once that's done, the OS could be reinstalled on the new drive and we would be able to see if that cured the password problem. Since Super Duper can make a bootable clone, we could see if the MBP would boot from it by plugging it into a MBP port and trying an option boot. If everything works, you can just install the new drive in the MBP.
Doing something like this does not touch the original MBP drive and its contents, so everything is preserved.
Just about any external drive would work for this purpose--it doesn't necessarily need to be the one that you intend to use as a replacement.
I agree that we don't really know for certain just what the fault is, but I think a Super Duper copy would be in order no matter how we go about doing the troubleshooting.