You hard drive is fried. HDDs are made to last 2-4 years. Anything after that and you are living on borrowed time. Buy another hard drive. Get a 80 Gig for $60 bucks at www.newegg.com
Dont waste money on geek squad. You can install a hard drive very easily along with your operating system. Please try and do it yourself and save some money. R.I.P. you hard drive.
And actually your computer is OLD. I would get a new cheapie. E-Machines (thats the brand) are the least expensive. ($400 or so) Just know that upgrading them is really not an option. But it doesnt look like you want a super machine. PM me if ya have any questions. IM A GEEK!!! :)
DS, I think that's the brand I saw. Can't upgrade them? As in, switch out the CD-RW drive should it fail (I have bad luck with them), or add more RAM? You're right, however, as I don't want a top-of-the-line computer. I have no need for that kind of power.
Peace, Love, and Vegetable Rights!
Eat Meat and Save the Plants!