My laptop is acting very strange. If I boot up windows 7 in normal mode, I pretty much can't do anything without it hanging. For example, trying a simple task such as opening 'My Computer' or opening a document folder will most likely cause it to freeze. I can still move my mouse, but it just becomes completely unresponsive for a while. It might then do a little bit of work before freezing again, but it basically becomes absolutely unusable and I have to restart.

It does however work ok in safe mode. It seems fairly normal, and I can do things like run programs, virus scans etc. It does hang when trying to read certain files that appear to be on a damaged region of my hdd (See below)

I've tried/I know the following:

  • 'clean mode' doesn't help the problem. It still freezes
  • multiple virus scans - all clean
  • Damaged block found using HD Tune Pro on the windows HDD.
  • Booting using a usb linux drive. Works absolutely fine. I've copied all my data from the damaged? hdd. A few files couldn't be copied, however.
  • Ran a chkdsk with repair options. Currently frozen on 12% for several hours. Doesn't appear to work.
  • There is no clicking sound from the HDD. It is very quite, but I can just about hear a very short 'werr' followed by a longer 'werr' followed by another short 'werr' and a short break. It is doing this over and over whilst the CHKDSK is frozen.

I'm at a loss. It seems something is wrong with the hard drive. However, why does safe mode work so much better (maybe even completely fine) than normal windows in 'clean' mode?

I've read that any damaged areas of the hard drive can be identified and not used. Could I just reinstall windows do you reckon? I don't see how to damaged HDD would cause the freezing on windows

EDIT - tried SpinRite and it froze. Tried HDD regenerator and it completed ok. HD Tune pro is no longer reporting any damaged blocks, although the computer still freezes. A lot of weird stuff happened. Desktop background changed, new icons on task bar etc. Also takes about 15 minutes to boot into windows

  • 2
    If its hanging while reading files that can indicats the hdd is failing. If you are finding damaged blocks it actually DOES mean your hdd is failing. If its freezing on chdisk the hdd already failed. A reinstallation of Windows will likely failed if it attempts to use ANY of the damaged sectors of your hdd. – Ramhound Apr 27 '13 at 23:18

I would use Spinrite. My father is an IT specialist and he uses this software constantly to repair drives of all sorts with fantastic crazy damage. Spinrite must be run from another computer and it takes a long time, but it is really the best option.


  • 2
    Spinrite doesn't need to be ran from another computer what are you talking about? Furthermore its unlikely that even SPinrite can solve the author's problems. The hdd needs to be replaced then Spinrite can be used. – Ramhound Apr 27 '13 at 23:20

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