|"cardbus nic boot failed"|
nic = Network Inteface Card - a network adapter
That's got nothing to do with your hard drive.
Most people don't boot from a network adapter, but lots of laptop bioses have that option available.
For some devices listed in the boot order in the bios Setup, the bios will not try the next device in the list if a device is not bootable.
Go into your bios Setup, find the boot order settings, and either remove the NIC or network adapter listing from the list. or move it so it's after (below) the hard drive.
If you have no floppy drive, the boot order should list a CD or optical drive before (above) a hard drive. In some bioses you can list removable devices (e.g. a bootable USB flash drive) or similar before the CD or optical drive if you wish.
The key you press to get into the bios Setup is usually shown on the screen while booting. If it's not, read the Owner's or User's manual for your specific model.
If the boot order has the NIC or network adapter after the hard drive, that may be an indication the hard drive has failed, or that there's something else wrong with or on the laptop that prevents it from detecting the hard drive. .
Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:
(thanks to Dan Penny for this link:)
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities
If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibilty, on another computer if you need to.
If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.
If the diagnostics don't find the hard drive, either the drive has failed, or there's something else wrong with or on the laptop that prevents it from detecting the hard drive.
It's probably the former, but the only way you can tell for sure is to remove the hard drive and test it when it's connected to something else - either by installing it in an external drive enclosure, or by using an adapter to connect it to a desktop computer internally.
(You could install it in another laptop, but if the mboard of the other laptop has hardware that is more than a little different, the operating system will not load all the way.)