I agree with Bob - replace that Maxtor drive
I'd replace the Maxtor drive, but understand this. You need to make a full system backup first as Kees, Vapcmd, and possibly others have already said. This is extremely important because without it you'll have a pot full of headaches including loss of data, the need to obtain drivers for all your devices, the need to reinstall Windows and all your applications, the need to install hundreds of updates to Windows and your applications, etc. etc. The next thing is do NOT use the Windows backup program. Use a good 3rd party backup program. In the past I've used Norton Ghost, but it's been removed from the market, so unless you have a copy of Ghost already, consider using Easeus Todo Backup. There's a free version of it if you're using the computer for home purposes only (not business). Like Ghost it will back up to a networked drive, and it will create a boot CD for when your PC won't boot. See CNET's review of it at http://download.cnet.com/Easeus-Todo-Backup-Free/3000-2242_4-10964460.html?tag=mncol;1#editorsreview .- CNET has a lot of backup program reviews at http://download.cnet.com/windows/backup-software/?tag=contentBody;sideBar .Some of these are free (last time I checked there were over 300), some have free trials (over 1000), and some are purchase only (over 200).-External hard drives are best for backup. You can get a 500 GB one for around $55 and a 1 TB one for around $70.
<span> Once you've backed your system up to an external hard drive, THEN (and only then) you can replace that Maxtor drive, boot from your backup program's recovery disc, and restore from the backup. If you can get someone with experience to at least help you with this, it will save you a lot of anxiety, confusion, and banging your head against the wall to climb the learning curve (as experienced folks have already had to go through).
<span> You asked if you now know which drive is doing the clicking. There are no guarantees about that, but since the Maxtor drive failed the short drive test, there is a good likelyhood it's the one, and there's a near certainty that it needs to be replaced in any event.
<span> Now this is more than enough to keep you busy for now, but I'd be remiss not to mention that MS is nearing the April 2014 deadline for completely pulling the plug for the last remnants of support for Windows XP. So, as if you didn't already have enough to worry about, you're going to need to start thinking about moving to Windows 7 or 8 after taking care of your immediate problems.
<span> Good luck.
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