|"The Express Gate still works so it can be used for the web and Splashtop online games."|
If that works your netbook's mboard is booting fine and the hard drive is being recognized properly and Windows is working fine in that mode.
Your actual problem is Windows isn't working properly otherwise.
NOTE that Express Gate works by bypassing loading most of the files that are normally loaded while loading Windows the normal way. When you first start up your computer in Express Gate mode, you may NOT be able to do other things in Windows until some other things have been loaded in the background, until at least several minutes after Express Gate has loaded. That situation would be NORMAL Other things in Windows should work fine after those other files have been loaded, however long that takes.
Try going into the bios Setup and disabling the Express Gate mode, Save bios settings. You may not be able to fix whatever problem you have with that mode enabled.
Usually you see a line while booting the computer "Press (a specific key) for Setup" or similar - if you see that, press the stated key while that line is on the screen to go there.
What are the system recovery options in Windows Vista?
"The System Recovery Options menu is on the Windows installation disc. The menu might also be installed on your hard disk if your computer has preinstalled recovery options."
NOTE that brand name system original software installations often DO have preinstalled recovery options.
In that case you DON"T NEED a Windows Vista DVD to try those options.
If that doesn't help...
Note that some keyboards have a button or key or a key combo that toggles the Fx keys on / off (x being either n on a netbook or laptop, or a number on any computer) - in that case an led lights up somewhere on the keyboard when the Fx keys are toggled ON. The Fx keys will NOT work if that's toggled OFF.
There may be an F or similar near where an led is if your keyboard has that feature.
See the Owner's or User's manual for your specific model if you need to find out about that for your keyboard.
If that doesn't help, your netbook is NOT new, and it's common for some keys on a netbook or laptop computer to NOT work properly after the keyboard has been used a lot. Are you sure all the keys on your keyboard work fine ?
If they don't, or if you're not sure about that, or in any case you could do this, connect a USB corded keyboard to your computer and try that.
"So, is there a way to wipe the hard drive to resell for parts/repair? "
If it turns out you can't fix whatever your problem is yourself, a local place that repairs problems with computers can probably fix your problems without you losing your personal data already on the hard drive. You could always get an estimate of what it would cost for that done first, for a small fee.
You can easily buy the Recovery disk set for your model from the brand name system's web site in most cases - it's relatively inexpensive - and load the original software installation on the hard drive via a USB optical drive.
If they don't have it, there are a few web sites that specialize in having the sets that sell them for a similar price.
If you have personal data on the hard drive you don't want to lose, you can make yourself a bootable CD or DVD "burned" disk on another computer that has an operating system on the disk it that can read all the files on your hard drive, e.g. a Linux boot disk or the Utltimate Boot CD, and copy the files you don't want to lose to elsewhere BEFORE you re-load the hard drive with the original software installation.
You could also make a bootable CD or DVD disk on another computer that has a program on it that can wipe the data off your hard drive (e.g. the Ultimate Boot CD may have such a program) , but there's no need for that if you get the Recovery disk set and load that - it will wipe the drive's data before it installs the software. .
The hard drive can be connected to another working computer in any case, then you can do whatever you want to do to your hard drive, but DO NOT boot the other computer from your hard drive .