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Do you control the computer or is it managed by your IT department? I'm having trouble imagining a scenario in which replacing the drive would be easier for you after it died than beforehand. The only one I can think of would be if your ocmputer is managed by an IT department, and they have an inflexible policy that requires a component to have already failed before they will consider replacing it.

If it was me I'd get a new drive and try to do an orderly migration of OS/apps/files before the old one died - or if it was managed by IT, I'd talk it over with them and try to get them to do it.
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