Windows 7 Stopped Loading Programs

I came home yesterday and my Windows 7 installation had stopped loading programs. I was able to boot into the OS and run Explorer, but nothing else would run, even from the Program Files folders. I'd click on program icons and the hourglass would appear, then disappear after a few seconds, and nothing would happen. Also I could get to a certain point in the Control Panel, but when I tried to initiate a System Image Backup for example I couldn't do that either.

I tried repairing and then restoring the OS and now I just get a black screen after I log in to Windows. After trying to restore the OS, I got a message saying that the restore function was unable to restore the drive and the OS files remained unchanged.

I think it might be the drive so I'm going to buy a new drive (OS drive recommendations most welcome!). I'm curious as to what the problem is though. I booted into a Windows XP installation in a different drive, and it looks like I can browse the drive Windows 7's installed in fine, but somehow something happened to the OS installation.

If you have any ideas as to what the problem is and how to fix it, let me know what your thoughts are, thanks!
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  1. from what you describe my first hunch is a bad HDD too.
    can you verify that is indeed the case by accessing it's SMART data? do you have any issues copying/pasting files on it (while running XP)?
  2. Thanks for the reply. I'll have to try those things when I get home. I'm going to buy a new drive and at this point I'll probably have to run a system image I made a month or 2 ago. I should be able to copy the documents over, hopefully.

    I would like to know what the problem is. Someone else suggested this: but if I just get a black screen and can't fix that, there's nothing else I can do.
  3. Do you have another keyboard to try - key sticking? I say this because I was having similar problems - turned out to be my cat sleeping on my keyboard.
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