First thing I'd do is try formatting the drive to see if that works. All chkdsk does is check the filesystem, it doesn't really tell you anything about the health of the hardware. It costs you basically nothing but a little time to try, so may as well before buying new hardware.
And if it were almost anything other than the HDD, I'd say scrap the thing and get a new one, but if the unit is otherwise meeting your needs, I'd say a HDD is generally well within the range of an acceptable repair cost. Especially since it should be pretty easy to do yourself. Of course if there were other issues with this unit, then maybe upgrading to a new one is a good idea.
My 2007 Emachines T-series desktop with Windows Vista Home Premium AMD Athlon 64x2 Processor 4000 320GB Hard drive, original 1GB ram upped to 2GB May 2012, has died. I tried to log on 06-12-2013 and got Check Disk screen, it scanned and reported could not fix automatically. I tried again and start up repair keeps coming back up.saying computer unable to start. The scan showed 5 attempts; session details: System Disk=\Device\Harddisk0; Windows Directory=C:\ Windows; AutoChckRun=0; NumberRootCauses=1. After all the tests listed which were repeated 3 times total it said Root Cause Found. Boot Critical File C:\\Windows\System32\Drivers\kseeold.sys is corrupt. Used Staples to add the Ram and they told me I had a hard drive issue coming but I don't want to take it back to them. so question is repair or replace? Thanks.