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replacing hard disk

My wife's computer which runs ubuntu "heron" made a funny sound
today. I now think it must have come from the hard disk, which is
quite old; the motherboard and cpu are fairly new, however. And
just now the computer became unusable because it could no longer
save any files. /var/log/syslog told about a disk error which
resulted in the disk being remounted read-only. Restarting the
computer caused an fsck, and now the machine works again, but it
is clear that the disk is nearing the end of its life.

So tomorrow it's off to the computer shop to get a new hard disk.

Are there any tips on moving the whole system from the old disk to
the new one? Or do I just have to re-install ubuntu, re-install
any updates and extra programs which are installed, find and copy
modified config files, mails, bookmarks, etc?

Regards, Jan

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