ok, so they replaced my motherboard today. funny thing, xp wouldnt work anymore, it kept bsod'ing. sooooooo, i decided to boot up using the vista hard drive. well, to say the least, i'm using vista now! lol, i dont know if maybe the usb ports were bad, or what, but i was able to transfer all my files with no problems! vista is acting super quick, and i've had no issues whatsoever! i'm very pleased right now. of course this could all change tommorow! but i'm hoping that my problems are all fixed up now. thanks again to all who have helped me in the "journey". now to finish up with the installation of my programs and on i go! i've still got to clone the drive later on just in case. the good thing now is that i can actually use this cool hard drive that apparantly cost sooo much. lol, the tech that came out today was telling me how jealous he was of my system. said it was the first of its kind he had seen up close.