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About 1 month ago, my 2 year old laptop (Lenovo z570) has decided that it doesn't want to be perfect any more.

It will decide to freeze suddenly (no inputs, and if sound is playing, the last sound frame goes into a loop), and the only way to fix it is to hold down power and start up again. (I have had this before with an old desktop, but that was because it was overheating. I know this isn't the same problem because when that happened, it would take at least 20 minutes before I could start it up again, 10 if I used a fan, but this one does it immediately)

When the system comes back up, no error is shown, and unless I am missing something, the logs don't show anything except for "The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down".

I tried performing a memory test as that has been the cause of similar irritation before, but that didn't reveal any errors.

I am running Windows 8.1 which I upgraded to about 3 months back (or however long ago october the 17th was), but never had any problems there.

Can anyone recommend any good sources to find the solution to this as it is a HUGE problem?

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This sounds like your HDD is failing. The upgrade to Windows 8.1 likely just brought the problem that already existed to the surface when files were moved to different sectors on the hdd. –  Ramhound Jan 2 at 12:38
    
DAMN DAMN DAMN, I thought it would be something like this... Ah well, I suppose now I have an excuse to upgrade to an SSD. Will chkdsk let me know if this is the case? –  cgoddard Jan 2 at 13:20
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chksk will detect problems with the file system which might or might not exist. Your better of using a S.M.A.R.T tool to determine if they are bad sectors. You can use the program of your choice. –  Ramhound Jan 2 at 13:27
    
Have you tried running a temporary operating system (i.e. an Ubuntu Linux Live CD) to see if the problem may be specific to your operating system? –  yjwong Jan 2 at 17:15
    
Just ran chkdsk /f /r /x and it got stuck at 17%, so its seeming more and more likely. @yjwong I dnt think that will really work as it wont save anything to the drive, or at least to that section of the drive. So, is there any way to get windows to avoid using damaged sections? –  cgoddard Jan 2 at 18:51

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