OS X Mavericks does not recognize my hard drive as start up disk. What can i do? I own an iMac early 2009

I recently downloaded OX Mavericks and run the installer. But at the moment of choosing the start up disk, it didn't allow me to use my internal drive as start up. Any ideas how to fix this issue?
Your comments are most welmcome. Thank you

Thank you. That's what I thought will need to happen.
One more question. I tried using the Apple install disk that came with the computer. It's an OS 10.5.6 disk. It does not see my 10.6.8 system internal hard drive to repair. All it see's is itself 10.5.6 disk. Do you think I can use a 10.8+ disk utillity since that is a higher system it will see the 10.6.8. Where the 10.5.6 does not?
I don't want to turn the computer off for fear I'll get the question mark again. P-Ram got me going last time but for how long I don't know?  It would be nice to be able to turn the computer off for the night and startup as usual to give it a rest and try to reset itself.
Thanks for your help, I know I will eventually need to re-install. But I am in the middle of a project with tight deadlines and all I can do right now is back-up. Trying to migrate to another computer temporarily to finish the job. That's a lot of extra work in the short time also.
Just trying to put a band-aid on it for another couple weeks.

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