I recently attempted to install Ubuntu linux for a dual boot setup on my computer. I installed windows first, partitioning 50GB (out of 320GB) so there would be plenty of space for linux.

When I started the ubuntu install, I chose to partition the Ubuntu manually and made separate partitions for swap, /, /home, /boot, /usr, and /var. The install went along fine until it came to the portion of the install that configures grub. A single error message told me the grub install had failed, and the install program exited.

When I restart, it still boots into Windows just fine. But there is no way to boot Linux off of the hard drive since grub never fully installed.

Now if I try to boot any LiveCD(I have tried about 5 recently), none of them even recognize that a drive exists anymore. So I can't repartition or install anything to finish setting up Linux. I have no idea what to do at this point.

Whatever I do, I'd prefer to keep my windows partition intact, since I've already set up a lot of things on it I'd hate to have to go through it again.

What could cause Linux to recognize my hard drive at first, and then later have it completely undetectable?

My hard drive is a 320GB SATA Western Digital WD3200KS.