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July 10th, 2009, 02:17
If I were you I wouldn't waste my time on any of that. It is comparatively rare that a hard drive dies as slowly as yours. Most of the time the head just crashes into the platters as they spin at 7.2K RPM ripping everything to shreds and there is usually absolutely no advance warning of that happening. If you're "lucky" the drive starts making a scratchy noise before a mechanical failure but most of the time mechanical failures happen pretty much out of the blue.

I think you're much better off spending your time thinking about a viable backup solution for all of your data. Since you live with someone else in the same apartment maybe a central Windows Home Server might be an option for the two of you? Or a NAS system with several HDDs (check here for example)? Or just several external (USB 2.0/eSATA) HDDs? There are lots of possibilities.
I'd recommend to explore these options and to not worry about anticipating a failure. No one can possibly know in advance when a head crash is going to happen.
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