I'm trying to sort out a friend's laptop that won't boot properly. We get BSOD with a stop code of 0x000000F4 and when trying to run off a recovery disk system recovery can't fix the errors automatically, saying the following error info:
system restore won't restore from any restore points either.
I have tried to do the sfc scan in command prompt, this also finds that some system files are corrupt but can not fix them.
I have tried repairing the mbr and this was successful, but still the same booting problems.
Drives slightly out of alignment (common in laptops/external hard drives that have been dropped while power is on), can create issues reading from certain sectors of the drive. An exhaustive test testing all areas of the hard drive could find the issue. A hard drive failure isn't always a 100% pass or 100% fail - sometimes you have intermittent issues and drives can start the "failure process" and actually take days, weeks or even months to "fully die". I would backup the drive ASAP, and test with another hard drive to be sure. The error indicates a read/write error to the hard drive.
When there is corruption on a drive, I generally backup data first, then do a complete fresh install of Windows. It seems there is only a 50% chance that fixing it works, and when you couldn't restore, and fix the files with scandisk, the risk of BSOD's returning frequently are high.
You can give reinstalling windows a try...I have come across a few viruses lately that have done strange things to PC's, and a fresh install might bring it back...You should be able to pickup a drive on the for $50-$70...it may not be worth wasting a day only to find out the drive is toast...but that is up to you.
BTW - I hate throwing out parts....even when they fail. My wife says I am the Sanford & Son of the computer industry....