Since my laptop died and I was fairly sure it was the harddrive, I decided to take the laptop apart and see if I could fix it. And to my surprise, I found that it plugs into the side of the case and can be unplugged by removing two screw. So, I removed it.
A quick scan of Best Buy yield a replacement drive to $60. Not only was it an in-store item, it had more storage than the defective drive. So, I decided to take a chance are try replacing it.