I always keep a couple Linux Mint bootable CDs around in case I have a hard drive crash, then I can just run Linux straight from CD. I also do that to check iffy looking websites because a computer that runs solely off of a CD can not be hacked, infected with a virus, etc. You can’t mess it up unless you scratch the CD hehe. I do have one laptop with NO hard drive in it, it’s my hacker box, I don’t hack, I just fool around with it, but it’s unhackable and super stable lol, if I hit a bad website that makes my puter go wonky, I reboot to CD and BAM, back to normal.
Just a tip in case the hard drive was your issue. (Pro tip: They can also be run off an appropriately sized thumb drive if you know how to hack the thumb drive and make it bootable.)