Boot the machine with a recent Ubuntu CD in it.
Which reminds me of another thing. When Windows 8 starts up you get a prompt that says “Checking Media”, followed by the word “Fail” twice.
Then the machine boots normally. The word “Fail” concerned me so I called the help desk, and after an extended period of being taken on and off hold, was informed that Windows 8 by default boots to the disc, and there is no way at this time to change that. So if you don’t have a disc in the drive it is gonna flash “Fail” at you until booting normally from the hard drive.