Appreciate the prompt response. Only thing is that I don't have a boot disk handy to run the AHT. I'm thinking that the data became corrupted on the partitions (don't know how). The disk seems fine being that I can boot into my recovery partition fine on the disk. No clicking or other physical symptoms from the disk. Disk is also extremely new seagate monumentus xt 750gb
You run the AHT from the internet. I think it is Option key + d key at startup.
But if your system is Auto booting to the Recovery HD partition then the Macintosh HD partition is TOAST. Whether it is just major corruption or the drive is starting to fail and can't read from that partition is unknown.
Well since it is a fairly new drive then it may be the cable that goes from the drive to the logic board. They are known for failures. Or then it could be the drive.
One way to check is to remove the drive and connect it by SATA to USB adapter and if the system boots from it the drive is fine and the cable has gone bad.
You do not need a boot disk.
Note, you may have to use ALT D for the startup.
Age of a HDD does not guarantee that it will not fail prematurely. I hope it is no more that a file corruption.
Once I return home from Spain ill be able to do that. Thanks. However I was hoping to try and build a portable disk to boot off to ensure the data remained on the drives. I've had this happen once before and was able to remove all the content from the drive when accessed by a working system. Don't know what caused it to become unstable. The theory with the HDD cable is that technically i wouldn't be able to access anything from the disk if it were not working. I'll give the Internet based AHT a try. Doesn't appear to be working at the moment.
Seems like I'm stuck until i return home to my tools.