Thanks, all of you, for replying.
For some reason, the hardware diagnostic tool doesn't find anything wrong. I have considered that heat may very well have killed my cruddy little seagate. No air conditioning in an apartment that faces west gets it's fair share of direct sunshine. I am actually pretty afraid to even start up my computer until I have purchased a replacement drive and it's associated cords.. But here is the problem, I am not finding any additional ports for the extra cords to go into. Transferring what is on my original drive may very well be impossible, from my point of view, if I do not get an external drive. I really do not want to purchase another OS...
I have spoken to HP about the issue, and found that the 'tech team' I was speaking to was nothing more than a lone woman floundering for answers. All she said to me, repeatedly, was: "Hard disk failure means your hard drive is going to go out." I knew that... That was pretty much self explanatory. It would seem that it was all
she knew, and would know nothing more until I had paid her a sum of $40 USD. Really, that is a good chunk of money toward a new drive. After about two hours of precious time wasted, I got nothing from her other than "Your hard drive is going out, your hard drive is going out". After a drawn out argument, I was told to talk to the company that sold me the Desktop.. I had to laugh, I bought the desktop at Circuit City.
When it comes to an extra fan, I myself have been victim to the shock of noting that the fans within the tower are nowhere near the drive. One is literally pointed outward, positioned at the opposite end of the hard drive, giving the removable portion of the casing a weak blast of air. Brilliant! I will be, however, looking into getting a fan for the drive, itself.. But wouldn't it be better to allow passage of air by removing the seemingly embedded, original drive?
Backing up my computer is an impossibility, for the moment. I cannot back up my system on the only available option (The Network) as Vista has decided that XP is not compatible? I have no blank CDs, I do not have a USB drive large enough to handle the load. All of that must be purchased. The only other drive around at the moment is an ATA 40 gig... Seagate, of course.
Ech.. Thank you, all, for the links. I will be saving them in an email and putting them to the test.