ok. i have been a lurker on these forums for a while now and have fixed many computers with all of your help. i've done a search and thought i fixed my most recent problem... but it popped up again tonight. i'm at a loss. here's the problem: every 3 seconds or so, (even with nothing else running) the cpu usage goes from 2% to about 35%. the cpu usage history graph literally looks like a heartbeat. it even interferes with performance. Games are very frustrating with the screen stopping every 3 seconds. even with nothing running, and rolling the mouse over the screen, it stops every 3 seconds. I've done spybot, symantic, spyware doctor, and a memory scan. all came out clean. did the alienware respawn (reformat the hard drive) but it still went on. changed back to my old ram, still continued. thought it could be a battery issue, took it out and ran off the cord alone and it stopped. or so i thought. put the battery back in to let it run down. when it died, i took the battery out and put the cord back in. now it's doing it again. i'm ready to throw my computer out the window. wouldn't you know my 1 year warranty was out in september.... here are the specs on the laptop: AURORA M9700 TURION 64 35 WATT ML-40 2 1GB DDR PC3200 SODIMM Corsair FUJITSU 80GB 5400RPM SATA NCQ 8X DVD+/-RW NEC AD-5540A REV 1 9700 NVIDIA 7900 GS WITH 256MB 9700 802.11 B/G MINI PCI WIRELESS CARD MICROSOFT WINDOWS XP HOME COA CYBERLINK POWERDVD 6.0 RAID 0 STRIPING 2 DRIVES any help would be much appreciated. thanks!