here are my current system specs: athlon xp 2500 cpu 1 gig ram ati radeon 9600xt abit va-20 microatx mobo antec 250-300 watt power supply (came with the aria case i use) generic antec fan for case maxtor diamond ata 160 gig hard drive creative cd-r/dvd rom alrigth so i got most of these parts in july of 2005. i custom built it. was running great for a year when my cpu overheated in september of 2006. so i replace the cpu and notice that my pc is filthy inside. i clean it out as well as i can. recently, i have been getting lots of random lockups that can only be solved by restarting the computer. even then, sometimes it just locks up during startup; sometimes it doesnt even load explorer.exe properly when windows starts and i have to run 'explorer.exe' several times in a row as a task in task manager for it to load. usually i can only last about 5 minutes before it locks up. CPU temp is consistently between 50-55 celsius. i thought it might be a virus so i got nod32, adaware, and spybot and ran those. would lock up during running of those programs, but eventually i finished them and got rid of a couple of viruses/spyware. still, the computer did the same thing. so i turned off 'auto restart on system failure,' hoping to maybe get a bsod. reinstalled my bios drivers, ran chkdisk, and the HD had prolly 8-10 errors, but it fixed them. uninstalled my hauppauge wintv card and took it out completely. uninstalled a few programs i dont use anymore and ran disk defrag. i then read here about loading fail-safe defaults and i realized i hadn't tried that yet, so i did. now, my computer will not load windows. it gets through all the black screens and says windows was not loaded properly the last time; how wouldi like to load it. i have tried safe mode w/ and w/o networking, last known good, and normal startup, and it all does the same thing; the white line loads across the screen and then it stops completely. as i type this, i am running the maxtor bootable utility to see if it comes up with anything. is it the hard drive? is the power supply so dirty its causing stuff like this? the thing that sucks is that my HD warranty ran out just months before it went kaput, if the HD is the problem. i thought maxtor drives lasted a long time. anyways, i haven't backed up on CD in a little over a month; and i desperately need a few things off there before i reformat. am i stuck? diagnosing computer problems is so much harder than actually fixing them, heh. update: i finished the maxtor test scan thing on the bootable utility and it says 'congratulations, your drive is certified error free.'