I have been using the same hard drive to back up my main computer for around 4 years now. It hasn't failed yet, but has been getting increasingly louder with time. The sound isn't "typical" of normal hard drive, in that it sounds very scratchy, leading me to believe it might be defective. However, it has been working perfectly for a rather long time.
Lately, it has gotten loud. Really loud. But it still works. But now, I'm hesitant of even using it at all in fear of losing some information. I have another backup drive now, but...
Does a really noisy hard drive always mean that it is prone to failing? How safe is it to keep important backup information on there (assuming I didn't have another copy)?
Also, keep in mind that this drive is ALWAYS plugged in, and seems to be always running.