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I've been given an Acer Aspire 5552 to fix, I replaced the screen without any problems. The laptop failed to boot into the Windows 7 installation that was on there. The laptop owner requested a fresh windows install so I tried installing Windows 7 from CD, the installation went VERY slowly (each 'step' taking many hours, totalling around 15(!) hours). At the very final installation step the machine just froze for 5+ hours so I decided to give up. I wondered if the CD was damaged so I used a copy of windows XP which I knew to be working correctly. The windows XP installation was also very very slow and hung at some point during installation.

I can boot into a linux live cd no problem, it runs perfectly. My thoughts are that the HDD is damaged and the read/write speed is being affected and causing the Windows installation to go painfully slowly. Please forgive this ignorant 'diagnosis' - i'm far from an IT technician.

Any ideas anyone? What would be the best way to check the condition of the HDD? Or maybe it isn't the HDD at all and I'm completely wrong. Any help appreciated.

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Running diagnostics on the Hard drive and memory would be a good first step. Memory diagnostics should be available from the bios boot memory (F10 or F12 at bootup). Western Digital and Seagate both have downloadable tools that let you boot from a CD to check the drive. When you tested the XP, that indicates the optical drive is probably ok. Also - have you cleared the drive by deleting the previous partition(s)? Could be some weird problem about not enough disk space, but never gets to that point in the install to check? The linux liveCD should let you clear the drive first. Then run disk diagnostics.

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thanks jdh, i'll run some diagnostics and see what happens.. – LBNerdBard Mar 10 '12 at 16:23

With the linux cd you can install (until you reboot) the SMART monitoring tool:

if it doesn't come with it.

However disks often fail without warning, even if the SMART tool output looks OK. You do sometimes get a heads up by running smart, but only 20% of the time or so.

Manuals over here:

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