let me lay this on thick for you, brotha: Used to run 'puter w/ IBM 40Gb 7200rpm HDD (ata/100) and Windows Me (oh god... the horrible memories!) the upside: I could rip my CDs to my harddrive @ 128 or 192 bitrate, and they would sound fine, great even. I also was able to record TV shows and game footage of my Gamecube via my ATI TV Wonder VE @ almost any quality (usually 6Mb/s) WEEEEE!!! Now I run same 'puter w/ Maxtor 80Gb 7200rpm, 2Mb buffer, ata/133...Windows XP (insert "Hallelujah!" sound clip here), and have since upgraded my ATI Media Center to 7.9. of course now, when I rip a CD, whenever any non-midrange note is hit (particularly higher notes, more than bass) it squeeks...which is really damn annoying, considering I can record @ any bitrate, and I still have the problem and when I try to record TV now... yeah right, it drops 85% of the frames at any recording rate... made custom @ 1Mbps just for the hell of it, and it still says "85% of frames dropped" in the recording window.... wtf?! do I have a bad codec for SoundStream (what I use to rip CDs)? is there something goofy with my hard drive? or have the demons that attacked my last hard drive returned in order to make me question my sanity?