You can find bargains on the Newegg site for external drives, if you sign up for promos. They'll email you the codes.
I've been buying from the site since early 2010 & sometimes there's unbeatable deals on the site. However, I now shy away from a lot of their "Shell Shockers", many are items they want to move. Which in itself, I don't have an issue with, it's just that some of this overstock is junk, though as few good items can be found too. Just be careful with these.
Otherwise, I've found many great computer components, accessories & deep discounts on security on the site, including one notebook that I still have from 2011. Which happens to be my second best computer to this date & was the best until last October. Most all of the security, I purchased for less than $20, 3 PC's with 1 year protection, just had to download the latest version to install. These were on promo due to being boxed versions & no one is going to give full price in mid 2014 for a box that says "2013" on it.
There are many great deals on internal HDD's & SSD's also, which if you were out of warranty, I'd advise you grab a nice fast SSD for less than $100 for 120-128GB, less than $150 for 180-250GB ones.
Being that your computer is covered by a warranty, which wasn't in your OP, however I understand that everyone can't think of every detail in a situation, you should contact Acer at the end of your end of your 8 week subterm. There may be a way to get a rush on a replacement, though I cannot promise this.
Also, I want to point out, I highly encourage everyone at every skill level, to perform their own maintenance when possible. This includes the upgrade/replacement of commonly replaced components such as RAM & HDD's. Most of the time, though it may seem to be intimidating work, after all is said & done, turns out to be easy. Not to carry the unit to a shop. That, I always leave up to the OP, some are more willing to learn than others & it's these very forums where many, including myself, took maintenance (other than warranty related issues) in my hands.
My closing words to your OP, were that if you interested in learning, to just let us know. Many computer owners are interested in the DIY concept, as one can purchase far more superior components than what a shop (especially those contracted by major retailers) will install, at a lesser price. And afterwards, having the satisfaction to being able to say "I did it!", a huge accomplishment & hurdle crossing for many to begin performing most all their computing needs themselves.
In your case, being under warranty, breaking the screws, some of which as a tag across, may void the warranty, so I suggest not to do this in your case.
I do suggest, in case you haven't already, to create your recovery media, be it the normally three DVD set, or a Recovery Drive, which normally requires a 16GB Flash drive. Many of these are now around $10 on the Newegg site. This way, should you have issues with your replacement drive (or OS provided), you'll have the ability to reload the factory contents & start fresh. Everyone should have a means available to quickly restore their OS to like new condition, which is why all major OEM's are required to provide two solutions. Recovery Partition access to those whose HDD is still in good working order & the creation of Recovery Media, as explained above.
Not all contracted "authorized repair centers" are created equal. Many of these OEM's has no US factory to ship to & repair, so the units are sent to a central processing facility, whom will determine where it goes from there. Some may be quality providers, others may be for bid, the lowest priced contractor getting the jobs. While not all of these are bad, there are some shady ones. Which is why you should create Recovery Media, just in case one sticks a non-genuine OS onto the computer, or clones what you have over to what may not be a brand new drive (read your warranty, the OEM reserves the right to replace with new, refurbished or recertified (used) components) & issues arises post warranty. This way, you're covered,
Hope that things works out well for you & should you need further assistance, don't hesitate to ask.
All the Best,