|It is a given some one may disagree but I would first suspect the hard drive. |
Taking to long to seek....May not chatter or have any bad sectors but sounds like the seek time is going. ( There is a little arm inside that goes back and forth looking for information)
How long did it take to format when you loaded xp? The format time if too long is usually an indication of future problems.
Then the cables and the memory.
I would transfer the os onto another hd even a small test hd and see if if changes.
Hope this gives you some ideas on working through this.