All hard drives fail; that's just a fact of computing. Three years into a computer's life, I start to worry. Eventually, every drive will give out. That's why you should always back up your data.
Sometimes a drive will let go without warning. But many times, there will be signs in advance, like unexpected noises.
Fortunately, there is a better monitoring solution than listening for noise.
All new drives and computer motherboards have a monitoring system called S.M.A.R.T. This keeps records of drive statistics to determine its health. You just need a program to read the stored information.
CrystalDiskInfo is such a program. It gives you all the technical and S.M.A.R.T. information about your drive and can even include temperature.
Most of the information is very technical, but don't worry; the program also includes a simple Health Status meter you can read at a glance.
To download the program, click the green Download Now button in the middle of the page. You will be redirected to another page, but your download should start automatically. If it doesn't, click the small blue text link at the top of the page.
Select the option to run CrystalDiskInfo after installation. This will let you see a snapshot of your hard drive.
Note that this is a portable program so some antivirus will flag it as a malicious program. Don't worry; it's perfectly safe.