Computer Displays Post Screen Then Went To Black Screen

My computer has been running sluggish for about two days now. Was searching the web the other day and computer just came to a halt and froze. So i rebooted the computer and then it wouldn't start up. It displays the post screen but after that it went to a black screen with a white bar at the bottom of the screen. Looked like a progress bar. Rebooted again but same thing. Popped in the os disc and tried a check desk and fdisk and it came up with some errors. Got to stage 4 of 5 on them and then stopped at 50% for hours. So today i started it up again and it finally booted to the windows logo and then finally to desktop. Took around 30mins to do so. Hard drive light indicator is always on for the most part and takes forever to load applications. Okay, i guess my question is this about to be a hard drive failure? Never had one so clueless of what it is but would think it would have something to do with the hard drive. Also before it froze the other day, applications started being really slow. For example it took 10mins just for the save file dialog box to pop up to save a file.

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Computer Freeze At Bios And Screen Goes Black

Last friday the computer stopped working correctly. On start up it boots normally which it goes past the bios screen and can even enter the bios utility as would any normal working computer would do. Though this is the catch. Once the computer past the normal bios and begins to enter to the hard drive to boot from windows. The screen goes black, i think it freezes there, though i'm not sure because my friend only told me this stuff over the phone. These are some things that i told him to try over the phone. One make sure you test each ram (512mbx2) test each ram stick by itself. Make sure that you have only one in at a time, and alternate from each ram stick you have. So that you can test the memory because it might be damaged. After doing all that work. Testing the memory didn't do anything the computer still crashed with 512mb or 1024mb it didn't matter what it had, it still crashed. So i'm asking what you guys might think about this problem, and if you have any suggestions at specifications:

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Asus ai series motherboard
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Edit: i downloaded xp service pack 2. And now my computer freezes like it did originally. I never installed the nvidia drivers from the cd. I'm not sure if it was included with service pack 2. But i have noticed some distortion of text. The problem is not as bad as when i had installed the drivers liek i mentioned above.

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2048 mb ram ddr-400(2x 512 1x 1024)
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