Hello again. Thanks for the pointers but unfortunately I am not making much progress here.
I installed PCLinuxOS, which also uses Grub as the bootloader, just to prove to myself that it wasn't something going on with the hardware. This installed and booted fine from the new hdd.
I then removed all the partitions and did a new install of Ubuntu 10.10 onto the same drive. Again
Booting from local disk...
error: out of disk.
So following the first link you provided and found :
From Section 9 - Command Line and Rescue Mode. Using the rescue mode I could drill down as far as ls (hda1,msdos1)/boot but could not seen down to (hda1,msdos1)/boot/grub. Although using the live CD I can confirm it exists via the file manager, as does grub.cfg. None of the other grub rescue commands seemed to work!
I then tried "Section 12.1 Reinstalling GRUB 2 - Method 3 - CHROOT". No problems were reported but on reboot the same problem persisted.
I then tried section "13. Uninstalling GRUB 2" with the idea of replacing it with GRUB legacy (0.97). Here I had a few problems.
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo cp /etc/default/grub /etc/default/grub.old
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo cp -R /etc/grub.d /etc/grub.d.old
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo cp -R /boot/grub /boot/grub.old
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo aptitude purge grub2 grub-pc
sudo: aptitude: command not found
Installed aptitude from synaptic
ubuntu@ubuntu:/$ sudo aptitude install grub
No packages will be installed, upgraded, or removed.
0 packages upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 2 not upgraded.
Need to get 0B of archives. After unpacking 0B will be used.
Not sure what this means or how to fix it so, I cannot complete the final steps:
sudo grub-install /dev/sda