ASUS K8V Deluxe
1x Seagate SATA 120 GB
1024 MB DDR
MSI Nvidia 6600gt
Windows XP Professional SP2
About two months ago my computer started freezing up for a few seconds at a time, then work for a second, then freeze up again over and over while my harddrive made a distinct sputtering rhythm. Right before this would happen the system would slow waaaay down, and the little system monitor program I have would read that CPU usage was at 100%. Sometimes it would recover after a few minutes of this freeze pattern, but most of the time I was forced to reboot. After rebooting, the computer would occasionally report that it had recovered from a serious error in an prompt right at startup.
When this started happening, I would run the disk cleanup and disk repair utilities, which would keep things running smoothly for a week or so. About a month ago my computer suffered from a malware infestation which was treated quickly. After the computer was malware-free, the freezing issue was gone. Until yesterday, I hadn't had any problems at all for two weeks.
Yesterday, the computer started with the stutter-freeze again, along with the telltale noise of the harddrive (which, by the way, just sounds like a distinct pattern in the movement of the drive--like something is loading and then stops. It is NOT a grinding noise). I had to reboot two or three times in as many hours, and I decided to run the disk cleanup utility. The tool ran for over an hour and found dozens of "orphaned files", but with almost every one reported that they could not be repaired because of insufficient memory. Upon finishing the cleanup, the computer rebooted. However, at the windows XP loading screen, the harddrive started making its familiar noise and the load bar on the screen would move and halt in time with it. After several minutes, the login screen begins to load, but it doesn't get past this point. It's just a blank light-blue screen with the hourglass mouse icon, and the harddrive continues to make that noise. It does the same exact thing when I reboot in safe mode.
What I thought was interesting is that I still have access to the BIOS and the RAID setup utility on startup. I had a hard drive die on me last year--it just didn't work one day and the computer would not detect it and couldn't start up. All of my devices are detected. I really have no idea what the issue is here.