yesterday I turned on my ps3 to find that there was no picture or audio and at first I thought it was my cables, but than the remotes wouldn't connect either (one wireless one wired). So I decided to try the safe mode, that wouldn't work either, nothing showed up at all, except for one time where there were these wierd blips all over the screne in verticle lines and it still wouldn't recognise my remote wheen I plugged it in. I have spoken w/ customer suppport and they are going to send a box for me to ship it off to be fixed (thank god it was under warrenty) but I still have the problem of; what do I do to keep my saved data on games and stuff???
The shipping instructions will likely tell you to remove the hard drive. I know Microsoft does for sure, I imagine Sony would be the same. They really have no need for your hard drive.
If you are really worried you can back up your data on an external hard drive and there are tons of guides on how to do this online. It would be a great time to upgrade your hard drive too if you can afford it and were looking for greater capacity. Just wait for the box to arrive though, I doubt they will want your hard drive.