Noise from Hard Drive, but it passed bad sector test?

I have a Western Digital Caviar SE16 640GB Hard Drive, and just today i heard a noise from it that gave me a mini heart attack. Its not a click, its not a screech, but its more of a rough noise that comes on for like 1 second and goes away, and comes back randomly. It seems to happen when its loading things like the OS, a big program, etc. Its not a horrible noise, but i worry more that i would usually because this is my first computer build, and ive had 2 power supplies die on me, and a video card died too. Its been about 4 months since i built it, and i thought i was past all of the problems. So, i downloaded Geeksnerds Drive check and did a bad sector scan, and after about 2 hours of scanning, it says my drive passed the test. So what do you think the noise means if the Hard Drive passed the test? Also, in the case of Virtual Memory, i have 2 GB of DDR2 running XP, so i wouldnt think virtual memory would make that much of a difference. Thanks in advance
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More about noise hard drive passed sector test
  1. I would suggest you start doing regular back-ups of your data now. That way , if your drive fails, you can just return it for a replacement and restore your data once the replacement comes in. IIRC, it's also possible to stress test the hard disk, a way to thoroughly confirm its reliability (or lack thereof).
  2. Sounds like the bearings in the drive are going; one thing to try is to alter the orientation of the drive so that it doesn’t make the noise. The drive could last like this for many years or a few days, it depends on how important your data is to you.
  3. First, do a r_manic says - start doing regular backups now! Then talk to Tech Support at WD. This does sound like a bearing about to fail, and they should advise you how to handle that. Hopefully they can do something more than wait for disaster before replacing it.
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