But it would have me double my backup system. That is, my system is a layered approach with a full image to some external drive using CLONEZILLA. This takes overnight but the reason I let it do it overnight is it's over an hour so I give it the night to do its thing.
Next I have my files. I use GOODSYNC, SYNCBACK and DROPBOX and this gives me another way to reclaim my files.
Finally I have my high value files on a few memory sticks.
I used to use DVD media but that's slow compared to today's systems yet my "what I never want to lose" is on a few DVDs.
Hard drives can make noises but that's not a sign it's gone unless it's THAT SOUND OF MARBLES AND WORSE. I'll defer to the hard drive maker's test program AFTER I BACKUP.
My laptop is a 14-inch HP Pavilion dm4 1265dx. It is about a year and a half old. It has never had any hardware problems before. As long as I can remember from the time of buying the laptop, it has occasionally made sort of a grinding or squealing noise that lasts briefly (about half a second) about a minute after I close the lid and it goes to sleep or sometimes when I shut it down. It sounds almost like in the movies when the hero pulls the plug on the evil computer. It doesn't happen every time, usually just once or twice a month, if that.
I treat my laptop very carefully. It doesn't travel much. It normally stays on my desk. I never take it to class, and if I do bring it with me somewhere it has a secure padded laptop bag to travel in. The most it usually travels is from room to room and is carried right side up.
I know this kind of sound indicates hard drive failure but since it started at the beginning of the laptop's life and I haven't had any hardware-related crashes, should I still think about replacing the hard drive?