Ok, received my new 160GB hard drive today, plugged it into the PS3, and bam! it prompted me to format, and I was able to get to the XMB!
So now that its up and running again, I'd like to prevent this from ever happening (losing everything sucks). One change I did was moved it out of a confined area with no airflow. Now its standing up-right, right next to my TV. Should I get one of those cooling devices to keep the inside nice and cool? If so, what would you guys recommend?
I analyzed my broken 60GB and found out there were burnt marks on the contact, and on certain areas of the PCB. There's no doubt that the system overheated and caused my hard drive to burn.