Hello friends, I recently decided to upgrade my machine to play the latest high-end games. I upgraded from an Intel Celeron 1.1 Ghz + Mercury board + 256 MB SDRAM to Intel Pentium D 2.8 Ghz + Intel board D945GNT + 512 MB DDR II RAM. Now, mind you, I was pretty satisfied with my previous configuration if only it supported the newest as well as upcoming games (Hell, it ran Doom 3 as well as Quake 4 & both were very much playable). I almost never had a problem with it & even if I did run into some sort of a problem with it, I, myself could easily fix it. Now, when I had only just installed Windows XP professional with Service Pack 2, my system booted in flat 3 seconds (I had even clocked it with a stop-watch), I was tremendously happy. However, little did I know what lied ahead of me. Right after I had installed the board drivers, all of my woes began one by one. Here's a list of all of my problems: My system boot time slowed down considerably to the extent Windows now took over a couple of minutes to load. I disabled 'Load Startup Items' from System Configuration Utility even if I hadn't installed any third-party software at that time & it was of no avail whatsoever. What is taking so long? The sound is distorted and scratchy. The audio codec used by this particular board is SigmaTel. Now I'm sure most of you might have already started to rush to the Intel site & had begun searching for the audio issues related to this particular board. You need not take so much trouble for I've already been there & done that. http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/CS-020642.htm#distorted. Unfortunately, none of them apply to me. My speaker is i2-600. It gets even worse to the limit of being extremely unbearable if the CPU is being used. I had no audio problems with my Mercury board. How do I make the sound smooth? I learnt that I can't use the line in (for my external TV tuner card) & the microphone at the same time. My computer vendor being an escapist (like any other Indian computer vendor out there (no offense, but you know it's true), told me to purchase a sound card which is available for cheap. My question is, why the hell should I have to again spend money (even if it's just a farthing) after I'm done with all of my upgrades? My system is EXTREMELY slow. It takes over 10 freaking minutes just to write a 700 MB CD with no applications running in the background. Hell, my Celeron took less than 5 minutes! I'm wondering if there are any settings (perhaps in the BIOS?) to make the best use of the dual-core of my Pentium D? Needless to say, please help me!!! P. S. - Do NOT suggest checking for spywares & using anti-spywares because let me remind you again, my system is brand new & these problems occured right after I installed the drivers from the CD which came along with the Intel board package. I tried installing the latest drivers available from the Intel site, but they only made matters worse. Also, I'm one of those people (if such people exist & they should) who believe that if you surf carefully & don't install anything & everything that pops up on your screen (especially ActiveXs) your system will run just fine without any third-party protection softwares. You will of course have to have the Windows XP Service Pack 2 firewall up right after you've installed Windows XP & running at all times. Believe me, it works because I only formatted only very recently as I was upgrading. Don't tell me I didn't visit risky sites as I use serials & cracks very often.