I upgraded to Windows 8 about three months ago as my Windows 7 install got too unstable and clearly needed a fresh start. At the time I was seeing some slowdown, but not that much. In the last month my system had some weird trouble, like excessive boot time (2min+ on Windows 8 ) or slowness while accessing folders with a lot of file. Now I just started it and it can barely crawl. Tried to start BF3 and I got kicked out because it took to much time to load. Opening my Picture folder bring the system to a complete halt, frozen for a few second before the UI respond (even Ctrl-Alt-Del). As you can see the HD Tune picture is pretty much self explanatory. Moment when the graph reached zero the system was completely frozen and the Task manager was showing 100% for Hard Drive.
The motherboard, CPU and hard drive were purchased at the same time, about three years ago, while the RAM, video card and PSU got upgraded in the last year.
Phenom 2 X4 955 C2 Steping (Stock 3.2Ghz)
8GB GSkill 1333Mhz F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL at stock timing (9-9-9-24, 1.5V)
Gigabyte 7870 2GB
Western Digital 1TB Black WD100FALS
So, is my hard drive dying? The troubles do remind me some instability I got three years ago when I first tried to use my 2x2GB Mushkin Blackline 996601 kit, but the trouble doesn't always happen. I have been playing Dead Island for a couple of weeks now and it only crashed once.