I have a laptop Fujitsu Lifebook C1320.
The hard drive has some strange noises from time to time (totally random), like a small steel ball rolling through a maze... I do not know how else to describe it, because this is very close to what I hear... I was told this is a clear sign the HDD is about to die and it is very important to replace it while I can still get the data off it.
It made that noise for years now, as it is not a new laptop (anymore) and it never gave reading errors or HDD access errors or to miss a boot... absolutely no problems. But let's say I go for a new HDD, mainly because the one installed I believe is only 40GB? not sure, but I know it is VERY small.
Question: this was a new laptop, with XP pre-installed. I did not get an actual installation disc, but some "recovery discs" and the store guy (PB Technologies - Penrose) told me that I will need the discs if I will ever have to re-install Windows. Replacing the HDD would definitely require that, and I wonder if I can "reuse" the windows licence I have or I need to install a new copy of Windows? Is the HDD replacement something within reach for a DIY? I built my both desktops from components, I would know how to open it and put it back if this is all, but maybe there are tricks?...
I also came accross an idea which apparently allows to replace the HDD without re-installing the OS, it actually clones the old HDD onto the new one (bit-by-bit starting from "zero"), and when the process is completed you get an identical state of the OS plus more space. Is this for real? Is this a freeware application?
Any reply will be much appreciated.