I don't have an external disc-reader though. And the USB tutorials are confusing me to no end.
Installing via a USB Flash drive appears to be your only option. I don't know what USB tutorials you are referring to but during a OS install the process is basically to make a USB "bootable" and copy install files to it. From there you do a cold boot of the machine with the USB stick plugged in, bring up the *screen that shows which device to boot from, pick the USB option and the machine will read the info off the USB stick. From there the installer or restore app will run and you pick what procedure you want to do. (Install, repair, run a recovery/restore.)
(* In the bios you should be able to rearrange the order of bootable devices if your machine does not have a option during boot to select what device to boot from. Whatever is listed at the TOP of the list boots FIRST. You want to have the hard-drive listed after USB /CD/DVD media if installing via USB/CD/DVD, otherwise machine will boot from HD.)
EG: boot from:
A: USB device
B:CD /DVD drive
D: HD 0 (hard-drive)
*Note that if you don't have a formatted USB device /one with files on it that can be read plugged in at time of boot there "may" not be a USB option showing in the bios on some machines, so stick a drive that is formatted/has files on it when configuring the bios.
Alternative to the above may be to request MSI re-do the drive?
1: Borrow a external reader
2: Install from USB
3: Send drive back to MSI, have them restore drive.
One last thought, you said you where pressing F3 5 times a second.... Try slowing that down some /varying it..