1. Yes and yes.
To clarify a little...any time you have an infected drive, there is a chance, especially if you boot to it, of transferring the infection. Now if all you want to do is grab the pictures off of it, the chance is low.
You would pop the drive from the dead laptop, place it in an external enclosure and hook that up to a working machine. To do the transfer, since you know there is an infection on it, I would boot to a Linux LiveCD and use that to transfer the pictures, directly to optical media (CD/DVD). This would best be done with a 'light weight' Live CD that can be loaded to RAM (if you have more than 1 GB of RAM). If you don't then create a folder on the hard drive of the working machine and transfer the pictures directly to that folder. Then before doing anything else to them, scan that folder with an up to date AV.
2. For the WD, I'd pull the drive from the enclosure and hook it up directly to the computer (internally). Many times, that is all you need to do to regain access to it.