My HDD died Saturday, luckily I have been diligent about my backups. So I have no horror story to tell. I was using the computer and it started running wonky so I shut it down and tried a restart. Nothing hppened it would POST then just hang. I ran two different utilities to check the drive. First was Gwscan on the Ultimateboot CD Gwscan returned no drive found. After that I tried Fedora because they have the S.M.A.R.T. tools installed by default and I can run it from a LiveUSB stick. So I booted up and Fedora returned "DISK HAS MANY BAD SECTORS" on the drive.
I thought about using a utility like Spinrite to see if it could save the drive. I realized Spinrite cost more than a new drive, so I just bought a new drive. I found one locally for ten dollars more than at Newegg.com. It was worth ten to have the drive now. I got the new drive installed, then installed Xubuntu for the OS got everything tweaked they way I wanted and reloaded the data. Now everything is running smoothly, like nothing happened. I will have to RMA the old drive since it is under a year old. That was my big weekend other than doing Math.