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I'm getting lots of chkdsks -- pretty much every time I start up windows. I'm also getting BSODs very often, within 2-3 minutes of logging in. Other times, it freezes up and I have to do a hard reboot. And applications, particularly chrome, constantly crashes. Before, windows aero stopped working -- not sure if those are relevant or not. The coincidental timing seems rather odd though. That might just be from crashing so much while the programs were running.

But when I use my linux partition, everything works pretty smoothly. This is probably more indicative of a windows error, rather than a HDD failure, correct?

If so, how should I proceed? Would a windows repair install work? Or do I have to do a fresh install?

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What do you mean by "use my linux partition"? Do you mean boot into the Linux operating system with the same hardware? – David Schwartz Mar 13 '12 at 9:16

Visit the manufacturer's website and download their diagnostic utility. It can determine the health of the drive.

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+1 Great place to start. SMART sometimes reports OK but more detailed test gives the error/issue. – Dave M Mar 13 '12 at 13:34

Difficult to say. It never hurts to reinstall Windows, but before doing so I would suggest downloading the Ultimate Boot CD (http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/) (or any other diagnose tool) to do some thorough testing. It is a time consuming task but hopefully you will know if there is anything wrong with your PC. E.g, your hard-drive might be fine but maybe there is some memory malfunction.

Another possibility is a virus infection, but I assume you've already checked that?

Good luck.

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i see. I'll try that, but why would those hardware errors only affect windows? – randomafk Mar 13 '12 at 7:55
    
@randomafk: It could just be luck. For example, the problem could be bad memory in an area that Windows uses first but Linux uses last. – David Schwartz Mar 13 '12 at 9:16

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