My laptop was making weird noises a while ago and the machine was running slow. There are only two things (besides speakers) in a laptop that could be making noises, and there was nothing in the CD drive.
The first thing I did after power-cycling it was zip up the whole project folder and stuff it into Dropbox, so that should be okay. But checking on hard drive health indicates nothing wrong, SMART is perfectly okay, no errors found, etc. If something DOES go wrong I have a backup laptop (it's slower but still capable) for the short run, and replacement internal hard drives aren't really expensive. So it shouldn't result in any lasting trouble. I hope.