Lately, when I press the power button on my 2 1/2 year old Gateway NX860XL laptop, sometimes it boots and other times, I just hear the internal fan running, but not the disk drive. The screen is black. I have to hold the power button for 10 seconds to get it to shut down and then I try again. Sometimes it takes two or three tries to get it to boot.
Is this stiction? Is my hard disk going? I've already backed up all my user files to DVD. Should I just buy a new disk drive the next time they are on sale? Is there anything else that could be causing this? I'd hate to buy a new drive only to find that it's something else. I've had McAfee running and current on this laptop since I got it. I'm fully up-to-date with XP Pro SP3 and all the updates. I've never dropped it and almost never move it while it's running. I've never even run it on an airplane.