I'm running Windows Vista on a Dell 410 XPS desktop. I hope I finish this message before my system crashes.
I leave the computer on in sleep mode and mode the mouse to activate it. About a week ago, I notice that the system was off. I turned on the computer and the hard drive sounded like it was a train coming out of the station. It kept accelerating and the system didn't come on so I shut it down manually and tried again. This time, it rebooted and worked. I had noticed that firefox, which is up to date, kept crashing, but worked for a period of time until crashing again about every 12 hours. Also Windows kept shutting down and I got an error message that Windows had recovered when rebooting.
So I did a chkdisk but the problem persisted. i also did the Firefox fix but got the same results. Today, the system froze and when I did a cold start, I got that express train hard drive set up so, again. I did a cold shut down and the system started up again.
At this point, the jury seems to be suggesting that the hard drive is fried. Yes, it works when it works and it, for some reason, is faster than it used to be. That might be because some of the sectors are damaged. I don't know. Is there a way to check?
In any case, at this point, a Vista system doesn't pay buying a new hard drive for. If there is no way of actually fixing this, the most logical solution would probably mean to go out and buy a new computer. I was planning on doing that anyway before Vista loses Microsoft support in 2017, but I have a lot of work that has to be done online for business and requires the use of Excel and Word files in the next 3 months and this isn't an optimum time for me to start playing around with setting up all my programs on a new system and transfering datat files (which I have on a travel drive, thankfully).
If there is something fixable here, I'm all ears but the fact that the system starts accelerating at startup suggests, at least to me, that there is a problem with this hard drive.