Background: I have a Gateway MT6705 notebook with a Intel T2060 Pentium 1.6 processor, 1.5GB ram, 120GB hard drive, and dual booting Windows 7 and Linux (Jolicloud OS), but it isn't in the best of shape. I'm trying to figure out the best option here since I'm on a severely limited budget (no way I can get a new computer): do I simply replace the hard drive, which is cheaper ($40-$50) but may not be the whole problem, or do I pick up a used, working computer off of craigslist ($100-$150)?
Problem: just yesterday my computer started siezing up. The hard drive no longer made any sound (which is unusual because it had been spending every second creaking away, regardless of what I was doing), and Windows seized up; mouse didn't work, keyboard didn't respond, nothing. The only way out was to press the power button. After a few restarts like that, it started occasionally not even getting to the bootup screen. I'd have to power off and back on again once or twice to get it to boot. It started happening sooner and sooner. Today I spent most of the day moving files over to an external hard drive, fearing the worst. Took a long time because I'd get some transferred and then it would seize up again. That's all finished thankfully.
I have run CHKDSK and HDTune but it doesn't appear to tell me anything is wrong except for a few bad allocated sectors. What else can I do to determine the cause of the problem? The computer is in physically bad shape, but I need to be absolutely certain if I'm going to buy another computer instead of just a hard drive.