I just wanted to post a few more facts. When booting the system with knoppix I'm able to "see" the drive's partitions just fine. Also, when I tried another older hard drive in the same system it booted off that hard drive just fine. I'm really stumped.
I've tried adjusting bios settings. No change.
I've tried swapping from primary to secondary ide interface. No change.
I've tried fiddling in grub and it's finding /boot just fine. (hd0,0)