HD no longer exists

I'm in the unfortunate situation where my Hard Drive has simply ceased to exist. This does not mean that I simply can't see it from my desktop - this means that I cannot see it ANYWHERE. I can only turn on my computer from external or disk drives, and if I try to search for the internal drive through a disk utility (from my install disk), it simply does not show up. It won't even start up in Target Disk mode, so i can't just erase and restore.
How it happened:
I was in the middle of reinstalling my operating system because the computer's performance had diminished substantially from a plethora of 3rd-party software. About 3/5 into the installation, my external display (which for some stupid reason i had left connected) came unplugged just enough to make the computer angry. Instantaneously, the progress bar froze up and the gray spinny circle thing appeared over it. I left it like this for about an hour hoping it would find its way back to progress, but unfortunately it did not. I forced it to shut down with no other option, and when I rebooted it, I found myself in this position.
Obviously, given what happened, my situation comes as no surprise. Hopefully because of that, I can find a quick and easy way to repair my computer without having to leave it with some service store for a few days. Does anyone know how I can fix this or know where I might get the information?

Unfortunately, I don't think that's the problem - I don't have access to my system at all, I can't do the spotlight searches, I can't access my terminal or applescript... for all intents and purposes, the brain of my computer is empty, as was the plan when began the reinstall. Thanks for the help though
Maybe there is some sort of intense disk repair software that, through another computer, can find the drive? Or maybe it's something much simpler that I'm not thinking of - but I am almost positive that it's not a problem of mere invisibility...

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