good news bad news
When Best Buy opened at 10:00 I called - and got an 11:00 apt with Geek Squad. Chelsea had helped me before, so I was happy to see her.
Even though the error message said the problem was with the drive - apparently it "meant" the memory card instead of slot. Chelsea thought the memory card was toast, and pix from Saturday lost. But in a very happy turn of events she did actually retrieve them.
HOWEVER, the laptop is SO sluggish (which I've known) that she's pretty sure I have a bad hard drive. Good news - it's under warranty for another 6 months. Bad news - not only will I have to send laptop to Lenovo (in another state, and be without it for a few weeks), but then have to start from scratch again loading everything, which is even worse.
I plan to do that when I get back from Colorado, and just hope it behaves long enough for me to blog during vacation.