Yesterday my wife's laptop got the hard drive ping of death. This is when you boot up the computer and it makes a continuous pinging sound and fails to read the HDD properly. At first I thought it was the hard drive, but it turned out to be the IDE controller.

I found this out when I swapped in the "bad" hard drive into my parents dell laptop and it booted normally.

This is the second dell laptop mobo for this computer. Shame on dell. I use to recommend dell as a quality laptop manufacture to my friends/family but now I think I will say Apple or IBM instead.