Ok so I got this refurbished lappy from a friend who wasn't using it anymore.
The HDD is a 20GB Hitachi DK23DA (full specs here (PDF))
The above document states the maximum working temp as being 55C, and if I got it right, that should correspond to a sensor output of 62C.
Well I get iddle readings of about 52-53C, climbing up close to 62C under heavy load (such as OS upgrades). After inspection, it seems there is absolutely no cooling device remotely close to the drive.
Since it's my first laptop, I'm kind of confused: is this common practice? Should I worry?