Thanks. I just wished one of the ideas would work! lol. At least we found out some things. That's great that your motherboard is under warranty from a store. Maybe you do have a shot. Yes there is a rare possibility that the new HD is defective, but I'd have to say I really doubt it. First off your performance improved over the other one. Then 2nd, your problem is existant on either drive you try.. You also get better speed with the WD because it was even faster than your old drive. So if that were possible it would be very rare. If you had another drive sitting next to you, there would be so easy to try, but I would think you'd have to go to a lot of trouble to change the drive. I can't rule it out, but I just don't think so. You say originally the computer seemed really quick when you put in the new WD but then faded? Is it possible you just got used to it? Or don'tyou mean it's slower than the original system was weeks or months ago??. My MS word opens in less than a second here.. and on the slower computers too. 15 seconds? I suppose that's not a joke. Wow. That is insane. I agree you probably don't have a virus or spyware, but here's something extra you can test. One thing you can do is list all of your taks under task manager on paper. Then type them into google one at a time and if it's been reported as a virus/spyware etc, it will show up in google. I have 3 or 4 programs, anti-virus, the works!. But if there is a problem I check that list. They are in the processes tab. Like iexplore.exe is one that belongs to windows. But if you see things you are not sure of it's a great way to double check. I have found ones that did not show up in my spyware programs. They are rare though. I don't know what the noise is. Your HD makes noise? Or does your fan on your cpu speed up when it gets warm? Yes, I would go with the new ram and motherboard. Good luck on the ideas and post if they help or not.. probably not if it's your board though.