A bit lacking in sex and violence for me, but interesting.
To make a major catastrophe less traumatic, I clone my HD once a month or so. The drive is in an external enclosure and placed in storage. If the main drive dies I just pop the cloned drive in and done. Stuff I can't afford to loose is put on another external drive and burned a little more often.
Those drives contain rare earth magnets. Fun to play with.
Just sharing my weekend story of how my wife's machine was acting sluggish and more during the week. I ran the usual scans with the current forum favorites of MALWAREBYTES, SUPERANTISPYWARE and found nothing. So I went and do what optimizing I know but it was not improving but getting slower and slower.
-> The big clue showed up when I ran a SURFACE SCAN of the drive. It didn't fail but took hours for what should be an one hour task. That is a sign I know about which is one of your signs on impending doom.
The new drive was fitted, the fresh OS installed, latest protections and the old drive put into some USB external enclosure and the home directories copied over.
The machine feels like new and the old hard disk now fails it's maker's diagnostics with a solid "Impending Disaster" message.
Feeling like I dodged the bullet,
PS. Yes we have a network backup system but catching a failure early is much faster to get the files over from the old drive rather than off the network.