Laptop HD died - new HD/OS reccomendations?
My non-gamesy laptop has been coughing and spluttering for a while now and I've long suspected the HD - it recently finally gave up the ghost and fell flat on its face, and the HD is pretty buggered (it laughed at me a bit when I ran CHKDSK). I suspect a poor quality HD to begin with, as I've had other laptops which have taken much more punishment.
I still want to keep it, however, as it's nice to have a separate screen to keep an eye on the interwebs/have my out of game map open/whatever.
So, obviously the two things needed are a new HD (2.5" laptop) and a new OS ("free" being the key there).
I'm looking for an OS which will do the 'net, play music/video, basic word processing and whatnot - no heavy gaming (though the odd bit of Minecraft when I'm stuck with just the lappy never goes amiss...). I've lived with Windows, but once tried Debian, though was turned off by the fact that doing anything other than "shut down" seemed to take an hour's worth of googling, so I'd prefer something easier to setup and get going (though attacking the laptop with a screwdriver and playing around in the console aren't beyond me, provided there's some sort of instructions!).
As for the HD, I'd like to have a reasonable amount of space to store media (couple of hundred GB), but I do have an external HD so getting a flashy 1TB SSD isn't required!