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My Acer Laptop (with windows 7) was running slowly, crashing, and failing to wake up from sleep. I installed Ubuntu and another installation of Windows, and there were still some issues (though in a somewhat different form). I assume that means there are hardware problems with my computer, but before I buy a new laptop, is there any way to prove that?

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Resume issues are almost always a third party software or driver causing it. Clean install Windows, do not install any software or un-needed drivers, see if it has resume issues. Sometimes it is a buggy graphics driver, update to the latest version available, if it has the latest graphics driver, roll it back to a previous version. –  Moab Jul 5 '11 at 23:46
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I'd advise that you start by performing some particular tests.

A simple place to start could be something like Memtest86 (usually a boot menu option from the Ubuntu install CD). Memtest tests your RAM - I'd run it for an hour or so before deciding your memory's health.

You can also try Ultimate Boot CD - as it includes a CPU burn-in testing application.

Another idea is to check out if there are any bios updates available for that machine. It's somewhat possible you're dealing with an issue that's a bios bug. The Acer website will have what you need on it for that.

If you find your machine is still vomiting creatively while doing these tests, I'd then look for blatant signs of hardware failure, such as scorch marks or blown capacitors. Granted, you'd wanna be quite careful before doing this, unless you're really comfortable with laptop hardware. If you decide to take a look, look for a guide on disassembling that particular model.

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