Occasional failed boot

Hello, everyone.

I've been having an issue with the Vista partition of my HDD. I'm not exactly sure if this is a Vista issue, HDD issue, or both. Anyway, Vista will occasionally fail to launch past the initial boot screen (the loading bar). However, after waiting some time, my computer (a Sony VAIO vgn-nr260e/w) will cycle back to the boot menu (Windows bootloader) and upon booting into Vista a second time, it will succeed (as long as the power was not turned off after the initial failed boot). This error usually occurs when installing a new application (an error message is given during the process, but the install succeeds), or for an unknown reason when using my other OS, Linux Kubuntu 8.04.1 (although the only occurance of this so far was easily fixed). Now, Linux has access to my Windows partition (Many of my files are on Windows, so I need access), and if Vista fails to load and Linux is booted instead of Vista following, I have to force the Windows partition to mount (Linux will send a message saying that the partition is in use).

As of now, I can only think of two possibilities: Part of the Windows partition has gone bad, or Vista may be missing some files. I have also noticed that sometimes Vista will save a file, and that same file will be missing on the next boot.

I'm sorry; this is alot of text, but any help would be appreciated. If you need any more information, let me know.

THIS IS AN EDIT: Vista is now failing to boot every other time. Also, a few files have gone corrupt. Even though Linux can still access them, Vista cannot. It's looking more like this is an HDD or an NTFS issue rather than a general Vista issue...if anyone knows anything, please let me know.

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