Dell inspiron 5100 hard drive error

Dell Inspiron 5100
xp home
30gb hhd 1gb ram
had this strange error after the screen froze up and rebooted, saying drive cannot be found and making noises like no disk or bad disk in dvd/cdr. Turned it off took to my cousins and it booted right up.
cleaned it out, moved my personal files to exteranl hhd and defragged etc. rab 2 days and did it again, however this time it does not return to life.Just says no bootable disk found.
Is it the harddrive that needs to be replaced?
And If Im in wrong forum area I appologize, I followed a previous question simular to this part.
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