They only have a finite life of course.
I had a hard drive. It buggered up. I bought a replacement from ebay. That lasted a while then it too buggered up.
I went back to the original hard drive, reformatted it and put XP on it, and it worked for a few weeks.
Then last night, it started making clicking noises and spinning up and down seemingly at random. The end, I knew, was probably nigh. This morning, I got the PC to boot into windows after about 4 attempts. It lasted for about 10 minutes before freezing with a click and a spindown. Now it just hangs on the intro screen, asking me to press tab if I want to enter BIOS, etc.
I hope it's the hard drive that's faulty. I have experience with that stuff. If it's something else, it's likely to be far more expensive and extensive to repair.
I've bought yet another hard drive from ebay. It should be with me in a few days. Storage capacity is pretty cheap these days. Ten years ago, a 40Gb drive would have set you back the best part of £100. These days, you can pick up a 500Gb drive for about the same price. A 40Gb drive will cost maybe a fiver, including postage, from ebay.
The main problem is one of inconvenience. The drive has to be loaded up with an operating system. My XP disk has now been loaded onto so many hard drives, I could do it with my eyes closed. (Actually, I can't even make myself a cup of coffee with my eyes closed, so maybe not) But it all takes time. Once it's up and running, I have to get it connected to the internet. This usually takes a bit of head scratching. Then I have to reinstall all the stuff I had (The data is generally stored on my "D" drive - a large capacity drive in the same PC carcass, which just contains songs and music and data and what have you. My D drive has happpily functioned through the lives of about 4 of it's more heavily used siblings.
Windows then needs to load about a billion updates. They have to be loaded in a particular sequence.
Until Service pack 2 is loaded, mny other things won't work properly or at all.
Each update of course requires you to restart your system.
I have to put all my website stuff on. FTP software, web design software. The data itself has to be imported from the FTP server to be usable, at least the way I have things set up.
Anyway, the upshot is, yet another hard drive crash, inevitable because I was reusing an old and faulty drive, from which I've not really lost anything important, but which will require time and effort to put right.
driving lessons in Wallasey?