So, here's the story.
My girlfriend's mother has a laptop that she has asked me, after I displayed some general PC knowledge while she was visiting, to help fix. I have a budget for this, but I suspect the issue is one that SHOULDN'T require any hardware... but I might be wrong and a new hard drive might actually be needed.
So, we started off with what I do for almost any critical failure issue where Windows won't full boot, etc... etc... I tried to reinstall Windows. Sadly, that's worked for me more often than I can count, so I figured, hey, let's start there. It was then that I discovered a few things about Acer in general, as well as what the previous person who had tried to fix it had screwed up.
1. The "hidden partition" for Acers, which I guess is supposed to be used to restore to system defaults had been emptied then deleted (and the original windows partition had been expanded to overlap it).
2. Acers do not like me. We got a full install through on Windows ONCE... we got to the desktop, I was setting up a network connection so we could get online and start downloading drivers when the computer hanged, I was left with only a desktop, and upon rebooting, Windows Install popped back up and the partition says 0.0MB available and used. Nothing can change this, and we don't know why.
Aspire 5735-4774 is what it is. If anyone has any info on how to fix the partition, maybe what hard drive is inside to get drivers, etc... would be greatly appreciated!