Main questions: 1) Has the disk already failed or "predicted" to fail?, 2) Is it possible to Image / BU the OS or Applications partitions, given errors below, w/o getting so many possible errors (if selected "ignore bad sectors), that it might be easier to reinstall? Wouldn't chance of a restored image of OS / Applications working, depend entirely on # of bad sectors & content, or even drive's current ability to consistently read files - based on reported disk errors?...One error was "medium error (read test element failed)" BU of personal data files w/ some errors (that might be fixed later) is another matter. 3) Given reported errors, would a complete disk format possibly solve the disk's reported problems? Some articles from HDD mfg's say "large % of bad disks aren't really bad." "Just need reformatting & possibly marking bad sectors." Don't know how accurate that is. Toshiba laptop has 2 - 120 GB Hitachi HDDs (1 for storage). No prior problems, but browser locked up, then Vista, & wouldn't reboot into normal, safe, last known good config., cmd prompt. Gives no err msgs - just hangs at wording near bottom, MS Windows.... (w/ scrolling dots). I tried Vista Recovery Console boot disk, but it never gets to repair options screen. Only past the "Windows is loading files," then stops. Ran latest Hitachi drive fitness tool. Short test said, "Defective device. Excessive shock.," (not "Predicted to fail", as mentioned below). Shock ? - maybe - drive's 4.5+ yrs old - not many hrs on it. Ran Hitachi's Advanced test. It returned "Defective device - SMART Failure." So, 2 diff errors. If it's SMART failure, seems could throw bogus codes. Next ran HDAT2 4.81 - several tests, including SMART. Main errors From Read Attributes Data were: 05h (ID 5) Reallocated Sector Count Threshold 5, Value 1, Worst 1, Raw Val. 0. Under that, blinking red: "Disk failure is predicted, back up your data!" "Failed in the past." Other red errors listed: C4h (196) Reallocated Event Count.........Threshold 0, Value 100, Worst 100, Raw Val. 91. C5h (187) Current Pending Sector Count...Threshold 0, Value 1, Worst 1, Raw Val. 4919. In HDAT2, the (SMART) Short Self Test, stopped at 10%, w/ error: "medium error (read test element failed)" Failing LBA 175054017. HDAT2 reported several MBR errors - mostly about partitions not beginning / ending on cylinder / head. Doubt that has to do w/ boot problem. Thanks.