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.
More about :hard drive possibly dying computer slowing significantly
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.
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.