I was scanning in comic strips for some zines when I noticed that the primary hard disk was retrying some disk reads. It sounded like it was repeatedly seeking the disk head and reading. After a few minutes, it was okay. Then later the retries started again. This happened about half a dozen times during my scanning session. Didn't lose any data but that was rather annoying. I think it's probably just a bad spot on the disk or a bad format on one of the tracks but I'll run SpinRite to see if that does any good.
Of course, the hard disk is one of the easier items to replace but I think hard disk failure would be a good excuse to get a new computer. Face it, the PC I'm using is more than 4.5 years old! That would also be a chance to start over with a fresh install (This system must be an exception to the rule in that I've never had to reinstall Windows.) and only include the software that I actually use. I think I'll most likely get a new scanner too because this one is slow and does weird things to the colors after the first hour of use.
I'm hoping though that this computer will last at least through the holiday season. It might be cheaper to buy after the New Year.