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Every few weeks my computer will become unusably slow with lots of error messages e.g. "this or that has stopped working", or just won't boot into windows. I use the Windows Diagnostics / Fix utility thing to get the command prompt and run CHKDSK /R/F and my computer will be usable again.. for a few weeks until I have to go through the process again.

Each time I run CHKDSK it'll report that it had to replace a number of bad clusters in files xyz.

I've reformatted & reinstalled a few times and I get the same behaviour regardless. Does this mean my hard drive is slowing failing?

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In this post: Dave –  DaveDev Sep 6 '12 at 14:21
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

It sounds like the hard drive is failing.

Please try Acronis Drive monitor or for a more thorough test try SpinRite. Acronis is free and will provide easy to understand (hopefully) data and information about the condition of your hard drives. I use the Acronis Drive Monitor but I am assured that SpinRite is more thorough and more accurate.

Either way, BACK UP NOW!

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SpinRite is not free, is it? –  user142485 Sep 6 '12 at 14:07
    
You are quite right. My mistake, thanks for pointing it out. –  Dave Rook Sep 6 '12 at 14:13
    
It is a great product though and probably worth the investment in most cases. –  user142485 Sep 6 '12 at 14:15
    
Hi guys - thanks for the advice both of you. Luckily everything worth saving is on the D:\ drive (and NAS) so I'll just nuke the current C for a new one. Thanks. –  DaveDev Sep 6 '12 at 14:23
    
Installing drive monitor is kind of pointless when the drive is already showing signs of failure. Might as well backup/replace/restore and be done with it. The only value I can see in such software is guarding against an apparently healthy disk failing suddenly. –  Isaac Rabinovitch Sep 7 '12 at 3:55
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As noted by @Dave Rook the drive has serious issues so make sure you have your data backed up.

Most drive makers have a specific tool that will run simple or more advanced tests on the drive. If the drive is under warranty, this will need to be run to get support. In any case, once you identify the drive make, you can download the tool and run the advanced diagnostic.

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