The older Compaq NC6000 that I have set up as a dual boot Linux/Windows has started to warn of impending hard disk drive failure. My first reaction was, "What? There's a Nostradamus chip in here somewhere? Not to worry, it's more science than supernatural, more math than magic.
The Linux Disk Utility shows the SMART data which reports when sectors are remapped to a new location because of read errors. The Disk Utility says that there are a "few bad sectors." In more detail, I see that there are 3,047,927 bad sectors--which sounds like a bit more than a "few."
I was planning to replace this 20 GB hard disk anyway with something larger, so that Linux and Windows wouldn't be cramped in there, but this gives me an incentive to do so. I was hoping someone would give me an EIDE notebook drive that they had outgrown, but it never happened, so I ordered up a 160 GB replacement for $64. That should be more than enough.