So it happened just the other day. Something corrupted my hard drive on my mac and being I am on the 5th new OS since Mountain Lion, it wouldn't allow me the use of the restore tools to fix the drive as the hard drive needed to be reformatted to uncorrupt the boot partition. I fought with it a lot, and gave up. So after buying me a surface, and still hating Microsoft, today I did some more research to find other ways to get my hard drive working again. Like its a SSD so its not likely that the drive itself failed. I finally found something useful, use the online recovery option. I hadn't heard about it before, I new about the start up using command R to get into the recovery partition on the hard drive, but the recovery partition was gone. so I found I could do a Option Command R to go to Apple online recovery server from my mac where I was able to reformat the hard drive and reinstall the base operating system (Mountain Lion) from there. which it is in process of doing now.
Time will tell if it worked, but it just rebooted so here goes nothing.