Three years later and I've repeated the process on the same machine, not because the HDD was failing again, but I wanted to increase the drive storage capacity. Otherwise, the laptop is still fine, being a high-spec machine when it was bought more than six years ago now - checking current prices for a similar brand new laptop, I would still have needed to spend close to four figures to replace it.
However, I was getting very close to the 1 TB capacity of the old hard disk, mainly because of the accumulation of an extra three years' worth of work projects. Additionally, some of the engineering analysis software I use needs a lot of virtual memory space to write temporary files, literally many tens of gigabytes for larger models, so I couldn't allow the file storage to get too close to the disk capacity.
I suppose I could have archived some of the oldest projects to an external HDD to free up some space, but I find it very useful to have the data from these previous projects easily to hand.
I also decided to change the HDD to a solid-state storage device (SSD). They've come on in leaps and bounds over the last few years, with available capacities now up to 4 TB or so, and the prices have been falling. My laptop system architecture also allows data transfer at the maximum speed of the SSD - many older laptops will still work with a new SSD, but the data transfer rate may be limited by the motherboard design.
|WD solid-state drive - there were other brands available,|
e.g. Samsung, but this was the best deal at the time ...