I don't know if these two problems are related, but I thought it best to put them in the same thread just in case they were.
I have Ubuntu 11.10 on a Dell Inspiron and it can sometimes run quite hot. That's the first problem. The second and most significant one is that since a few days ago I've started to get problems whereby the HDD seems to just stop working. Most running programs will freeze and Ubuntu will darken them, and anything which involves opening another program or a dialogue or anything which would have to load from the disk just doesn't work. Rebooting fixes it fine, but it's a bit of an inconvenience and not really a true solution
This actually all started when I plugged in an external HDD which has now died (since being plugged in, actually, but it's been under pretty heavy load so I'd be surprised if Ubuntu killed it). I doubt that's connected either - but still worth mentioning I guess
Any help would be appreciated very much