Dust is an electronics killer and the PS3 is no different.
The first thing to try would be just taking your PS3 outside and blowing some compressed air through the bottom vents and around the PS3.
The hard drive becomes married to the PS3 after being formated which is why we have to do it twice.
Doing this will fix MOST consoles experiencing this problem.
Here's what I suggest you try just in case it's something else causing the problem. The advantage of using one of these is that you won't have to open the PS3, which for some can be a pain.
If that didn't work, Sony has always suggested a firmware update / and or a System Restore.
You could always just slam the top cover over to the left too.
The only thing holding it on is a tiny piece of plastic.
Depending on what you've read or watched don't waste money on a stupid cleaning kit. Just use care and clean it like the sensitive piece of electronics that it is. Once you've replaced the laser the PS3 will work just like before.
The upside is that you could potentially save yourself a good deal of time bypassing Sony's tech support line, waiting for a box to arrive, mailing out the box and then paying 0 dollars for something you could have fixed for much much less or better yet, FREE.
If you're experiencing the first problem, chances are you're the victim of a Sony defect.
Afterwards a firmware update is probably a good idea once you've given the PS3 a thorough testing.
If keep getting a drive corrupted message or the PS3 keeps looping you into the same process there's a strong possibility your hard drive is failing.I've NEVER seen a PS3 laser come back to life after either one of these operations, but that's not to say you'll be the first.