random files getting corrupted - am I SCREWED?

I am running WinXP. I have 12gb free on the hard drive, but have only 126mb of RAM

Recently I have had the following problems (all within a week and a half):

  1. Suddenly, no programs could run on Win w/o crashing. After a few restarts, win itself crashed. I wiped entire hard drive and started over.

  2. MS access wouldn’t start – the icon in the start menu showed a generic file icon. I uninstalled and reinstalled Access.

  3. A zip file I’d created is now showing 0kb legnth, and I get an error saying the file is corrupted (by the application).

So I’m backing the bejesus out of the hard drive knowing the bastard’s going to fail again.

But my question is, how likely is this a manefestation of a hard drive going bad physically? If it’s very likely, I can just buy a new one.

But what are the chances it’s something else in the system? How hard would it be to find it?

Well, the first thing to do is run ScanDisk, assuming you haven’t already: see how many bad sectors you have on the drive. (A handful, not much of a problem. 10% of the drive? Problem! Also problem if one week it’s 5 bad sectors, next week it’s 40…) Also double check to make sure there isn’t any dust bunnies clogging up things in there.

It is a bit odd that it’d come up suddenly though… how old is this hard drive? No odd noises coming from it?

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