A couple days ago, my computer started pausing for maybe a minute at a time. Specifically, some programs or windows would become unresponsive, while others remained responsive. It was damned odd. I haven't been keeping up with my computer fixing know-how for a long time, and I was fearing it would be beyond my capacity to solve. But it seemed like hard-drive access was the initial cause of the problem. Not every access, but often enough. Backing up info to my Passport worked fine, but updating DirectX took over two hours. Playing around some more, but in a completely let's-see-what-happens-when-I-try-this fashion, it seemed like writing to the drive was what caused the problem, although it didn't always occur.
So I decided to swap it out and put in an old drive I used to have in this computer, with XP installed, just to make sure it wasn't an issue with the controller on the motherboard.
I got my drives mixed up, and grabbed the original one that had the hard drive read failure. It's working fine. I'm running on it right now, no problems (so far...)
So, uh, where do I go from here? I seem to be avoiding the problem rather than fixing it. And now I expect to begin having problems again any time. What do I do then?