I've had a couple of drives behaving like that, and it's always been a sign of a Dying Drive.
But then it's a pretty new laptop, right?
EDIT: SO it's not a dying drive.
Typemachine: Acer Aspire One D250 | Atom N280 1.6 Ghz | 1GB DDR2 | 160GB SATA | 10.1' 1024 x 600 | Lubuntu 12.10
Oldbox: HP D530 | Pentium 4 2.8 Ghz | 1GB DDR | 40GB | Windows XP
"The 'gentle biker' look is overdone. I'm going for 'psycho hillbilly.' "