The top 2 posts at http://forums.cnet.com/laptops-forums/laptop-troubleshooting-forum/ show disassembly and troubleshooting of many laptops.
I am not going to supply a link to your laptop. Here's why. You must be comfortable with removing a few screws here and there to look under the panels to find this drive. And you should be able to identify that drive when you see it. If not, the repair counter is best to keep you from ending up at the repair counter with a dead machine and incurring an even bigger bill.
What you need is only a little search on the net and many have done this so if you work just a little you'll succeed.
I bought a larger capacity hard drive for my Sony PCG NV170 laptop.
My problem is determing where the hard drive is located on this particular laptop. I queried Sony's Customer Service and they refused to tell me the location saying I should send it to their repair facility to have a new hard drive installed. My husband is very capable of installing a new hard drive in the laptop. I downloaded instructions for a Sony laptop's hard drive replacement but it was not applicable to the NV170. Last evening we took out all the screws on the bottom that had arrows pointing to them but that did not let it separate so we put them back in.
Is there someone that knows how to access the NV170 hard drive and will impart that knowledge to me ? I will truly be appreciative.