Computer freezes for several seconds or stops responding.


thanks for taking your time to read this.

Let me describe my problem.

2 Days ago I started my pc and it didnt boot - no error beep - just no response. After some tinkering (checking if all cards and cables are correctly plugged) the system booted again but as soon as the windows loading screen appeared, I heared a clicking sound (very sure it was hdd) and the system just rebooted - next try same result.

I decided to plug in my boot usb-stick and execute a fixmbr - after a reboot the system started xp.

I ran HDtune and speedfan to read the smart data and it reported 2 pending sectors, after that I rebooted to run the samsung tool "ESTool" and ran a diag. it reported the 2 pending sectors as well and suggested "Erase Data".

Before running a low-level format I wanted to find out more and while running a browser or accessing certain files of the hdd I experienced the freezes. They last for 5-60 seconds and even freeze the cursor for that time, then cursor is movable for a second, then its freezed again - sometimes it will stop after some minutes, twice I had to reboot windows.

I decided to run the low level format, which reported no errors same with the full diagnotic scan.
I reinstalled windows xp sp2, installed the most essential drivers and updated to sp3 and even hdtune and speedfan tests reported no more errors.

When I started Internet explorer to access the windows update site the freezes occured again and it seems the format was no real fix at all.

I ran memtest for 4 hours (9 test cycles) and no errors and currently im running another hutil test (older version of samsungs ESTool), which im sure will not show errors as well.

im really no expert but I would pinpoint the problem to the hdd or the ram (more likely the hdd since the bad sector story)

Since my budget is really limited right now, I want a second opinion before I spend my last bucks for a new hdd and the problem isnt fixed.

System (never overclocked):
Windows XP Home SP3
Wolfdale 8400 Core Duo 3ghz
2x1 gb GEIL DDR2 6400
Gigabyte ga-g31-mf 2 (F2 Bios)
Realtek onboard sound & lan
Gainward GTS 250 1gb
Xilence 450w PSU

English isnt my native language, so im sorry for any mistakes I made.
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  1. I forgot to add the HDD

    its a Samsung Spinpoint (HD501LJ) 500gb
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