Hard drive possibly dying - computer slowing down significantly

Er, i suppose i should point out straight off that i'm not entirely sure this is hard drive related, however, it does seem the likely culprit.

p.s sorry for the big wall of text!

I have been having problems for a good time now with performance i suppose i could say with my laptop. I did have a small incident about 6 months ago where the hard drive gave out, though i cant remember why, possibly a power out during an update.... i tried to do a system restore but it would just hang at that point. I had it sent off to "know how", the techies from PC world, who replaced the hard drive and copy of windows/drivers (as i hadn't made my own copy)

Ever since i got it back, the performance seemed a little off. Games that would run fine, would be sluggish, programs that would open in the blink of an eye had a slight delay, small things, but noticeable. I tried updating all the drivers, although the graphics i will admit have been a bit elusive to me, uses one of the catalyst control centers that claims to be up to date, and has no compatible newer versions.

I had a BSOD not long after getting it sent back to me, and another a few weeks later. I think i had 3 or 4 of those in total before i was forced into a system restore after the registry became corrupted, which did seem to fix the problem. I haven't had another BSOD in the 4 or so months since then, Although the sluggishness has continued to get worse.

I'm now at a point where almost no games will run without significant frame rate drops and micro freezes, and i mean even old games, videos online stream with 1 sec pauses constantly through them, my internet download speed is fine, so its not that. Webpages are failing to open on the first try and require a few refreshes, which seems odd to me.

All in all i'm getting frustrated with the system and i'm just discovering a failing hard drive may be the answer. I tried a chkdsk earlier, and completed 4/5 of the scans, but the last one got to 70% and just stuck there for hours on end. I tried a SMART scan and found a few 1000 sectors in the 2000+ms, though i have no knowledge in what that means, but i'm assuming its really bad since the majority is in the 0-20 ms. Running one as i'm writing this, and at 100% i'm told "error with read element failed"

I'm currently unemployed so sending it to an expert for diagnosis/repair will be too costly, and buying a new hard drive in the hopes it works, could just be a waste of money without knowing more. I guess i'm really hoping that somebody out there has seen these symptoms and can tell me more reliably if it does seem HD related. Any information/questions would be appreciated.
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  1. Best answer
    From the information you posted I have to agree that the hard drive is failing. This is not fixable except by replacing it.
    You should back up your data to another hard drive or to DVD-R media as soon as possible before the drive fails completely.

    If you want irrefutable evidence that the drive is failing, you can test it with SeaTools for DOS. Download the CD Image from here:

    Create a CD from the CD Image file with ImgBurn:

    Then boot your PC from that CD.
  2. Not the best news i was hoping for, but i guess the signs were pointing to it. Luckily, its not an expensive piece to replace, and an easy job too. Hoping to buy another in the coming days, assuming i have the pennies to do so, and the repair shop even sells them, and will update if it fixes my problem.

    Thanks for the quick response!
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