You probably would have run into errors by now, it won't hurt to check it for errors. Older IDE drives sound like they are scratching the platters but i think it's because of the arm moving around and also it might be the older kind that had the mechanical reader that moves like a cd optical lens instead of the more modern 'arm'. How old is the drive? I have a '99 PC with the original HDD and it just makes a weird loud humming sound when its on. Then i have this 80GB SATA drive that sounds like it's crushing rocks or breaking something but it works fine.