This issue came up recently and I have no idea what it's doing, nor if it will get worse. Better sooner than later, right?
Let's start at the beginning. A few days ago, my laptop made a strange and alarming noise--at least, I THINK it was my Laptop. It's usually so quiet that I could be mistaken. It sounded like a pen tapping on the back of my laptop or something, and it happened shortly after placing it down and waking it up from hibernation. For all I know, it WAS a pen falling down, but I don't think so. However, ever since that event, my laptop seems to be different in a few, subtle ways.
I use an application called Real Temp to keep track of my laptop's temperature. I used to do it for my old laptop, since it got hot often, but now I just have it there as a habit and to see if it's working hard for an abnormal reason. Normally, my laptop runs in an idle state at 30 to 35 degrees C. Task manager indicates that the CPU runs at ~2 to 4 percent. Now, after that strange noise, it's running at the same percentages, but its idle temperature tends to fluctuate between 40 and 50 degrees. Also, based on Real Temp, it peaked at 71 at some point when I wasn't paying attention (but the temperature tends to fluctuate randomly for brief instances, so it could be a fluke. This has been true for all my previous laptops.) It also feels a bit warm on the bottom right corner, as well as the top right corner. Left side is fine.
Also, this could just be my mind playing tricks on me, but it feels like it takes longer than usual for Microsoft Word to load up the "open" option for recently opened documents. It's worth noting that this laptop has an SSD and a normal disk drive--my word documents are all held on the disk drive, while the OS and other critical software is on the smaller SSD.
Now, in the silence of nighttime, I'm noticing a new change. It could have always been there, or this is a new development, but in the top right corner of my laptop, just below the power button and in the same perceived location of the initial, alarming noise, I can now hear a soft, soft "tap tap" noise. It happens rhythmically--tap, tap; two taps about half a second apart from each other. These taps happen every five seconds.
Should I be worried? What is all this? Did the disk somehow get damaged? Did a fan break? I've already backed up my essentials just in case.