The bad news just keeps coming, as I found out yesterday. Turns out I partially stripped (ruined) the screw on the underside of my laptop. So now I have to go through a lengthy process of sending the laptop to HP for them to replace the optical drive. A process which, at the worst, involves me being without a laptop for up to ten days! HP says once they get it, it will take 3-5 business days for me to get it back, or 7-9 business days at the latest. But I have my doubts about the HP service centers, especially after both the optical drive and the screw holding it in place proved unacceptably shoddy.
More later as the situation unfolds. Except I'll be posting from my old desktop. *sniff*