I'm proud of myself
Success stories of the day!→
After the ram-upgrade fiasco I'm pleased to report... I successfully swapped out one hard drive for another!
I used acronis to mirror my old drive to the new, and with a small amount of fiddling and no swearing or sweating got the old out, the new into the tray, the tray into the tower, and everything hooked up and into place.
And it works!
And, amazon fucked up my order... the 320GB drive I got arrived as a 500gb drive. Didn't notice until I went to check properties after the swap. "380gb free space... whaaaa?"
still NO IDEA what the problem is there. My motherboard takes PC2700 DDR DIMMs. But only in theory, apparently.
turns out half the noise was the dying old drive. the other half is the dying fan. I'm now second-guessing my repairs to a three year old system, even if the fan is only $30.