I just wanted to finish out this thread just in case someone does a search on this topic.
I received my new WD Scorpio Black 500GB hard drive Thursday evening and proceeded to successfully reinstall the operating system from the discs that I had burned when my computer was brand new.
I first installed System Image disc 1 but the computer could not read it or said it was the wrong disc. Not knowing what else to do, I ejected the disc and inserted the System Repair disc. Voila! That was it. The computer recognized that disc and then after a bit, it asked me to insert the FINAL "System Image" disc in my series of 7. Didn't make sense to me but I did what it asked. After reading it for a while, it then asked me to insert disc 1 and the rest of the operating system load up went without a hitch!
In fact, I'm using the HP laptop right now to post this.
Thank you again for the help, carnageX