Just expanding on my last iMac problem: As we know, my iMac has system issues, such as boot freezing and the such. Well today, I had a different issue. After using the iMac for about 3.5 hours or so, it made loud clicking noises, 3 times in a row, as if the plastic casing was cracking or something. Then 2 hours later, it did it again, except twice - except this time, iTunes shut off my music, the cursor turned into spinning beachball, freezing all applications at the same time as the noise continued. Then, what sounded like the hard drive, clicked twice loudly, and then everything went back to normal.
I hate to think my 7200-rpm hard drive is having a hardware malfunction after just 6 months of operation. I checked internal heat levels with CPU monitor software, which showed no adnormal levels of heat production (sometimes an issue with iMacs).
I'm prepared to backup my data if needed in case a hardware failure occurs, but anyone have any ideas? The sounds I heard are not nescaarily from the hard drive, as I wasn't able to confirm that, but like I said, it sounded like it. I'm either doing a Archive and Install with Panther v10.3 or low-level zero-data full format. New problems are arising faster than I'm fixing old ones.