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I have a Sony Vaio laptop, running Windows Vista. It started freezing a couple of weeks ago but after a hard reboot it would work just fine. During the weekend it started freezing more often so I decided to check basic things that I know how to do. I ran chkdsk, defragmented the Hard Drive, ran the Vista Memory Diagnostic tool, and all the Vaio checks (CPU, memory, disk, monitor, etc). Everything turns out OK except some errors on chkdsk that were fixed.

I continued to use the computer normally and when it froze again, it wouldn't reboot. When I try to boot Windows normally, the computer is stuck on the loading Windows screen. When I try to use the Vista startup repair, it doesn't recognize the hard disk, so I cannot enter it.

I tried booting in safe mode but it stops at crcdisk.sys. I tried using the Vaio tool to format and reinstall everything but it does not load either. I even tried using an Ubuntu live CD that I had and when it starts loading it also freezes, so I'm thinking that it's a hardware issue but I'm not sure. If it is a hard drive hardware issue I can change it myself but before buying a new one I want to make sure that is really the issue.

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Most likely, it's your hard drive. What errors did the chkdsk bring up? Specifically, I mean...

If the hard drive has some physical errors on it, it's quite possible the Startup repair would not be able to fix it, or even see the drive sometimes. When you mention you can't see it in the Linux system, that's more evidence there. Can you see it in the BIOS? I'd still be blaming the hard drive

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If it's freezing even while booting off external media (like the Windows or Ubuntu boot CDs), I would be more suspicious of the RAM, rather than the hard drive. The Ubuntu boot media should include a memory test utility. When you boot off the Ubuntu disk, you should see an option to run a memory test. Try running that and see if it reports any problems with the RAM.

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And when you run it, run it for a whiiiile. I'd suggest over night. A proper RAM test requires quite a few passes. – SBI May 29 '13 at 8:50

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