I left my house with my iBook G3 on and running. When I returned, the screen was on and the windows all still up, but if I tried to do anything at all it would give me the spin wheel of death (OS 10.3). Also, the computer was making a horrid grinding noise which immediately made me think of hard drive failure. I turned the computer off by holding down the power key. I tried to start it again, and a weird knocking noise came from where the hard drive is. Sometimes I get simply a grey screen, other times I get a grey screen with the flashing finder folder upon start up. I tried clearing pram and just letting the computer sit with no battery or power for a few minutes, no luck. I also tried booting off the system disc. This does not work. I hold down 'c' and it starts to boot and I get the grey screen with the apple logo on it for about 30 seconds to a minute, then the apple changes to a circle with a line through it like the no smoking signs. Is it the hard drive that failed, or a more internal issue with the computer? Is the data salvageable at all? Any advice? The one thing I have left that I was going to try was to install an OS on an external hard drive I got for christmas (what timing, too bad I went out of town and didn't have time to back up my laptop before I left...). I was hoping I could boot off of the exernal drive, hopefully hopefully hopefully it would recognize my failing drive and I would be able to run disk utility or try to save at least some of the data. Also, then I could still use the iBook without buying a new laptop drive. Would this work? Any other suggestions?