Building an HTPC has long been a challenge I wanted to tackle. I wanted a system that would be able to watch/record cable, play Blu-rays and also play some games. My build: Intel Core Duo CPU ASUS P5Q-E 4 Gb DDR2-800 EVGA Gtx 260 Core 216 LG GBW-H20L BD-R Enermax 625W 1 Tb Samsung Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ Auzentech X-Fi Home Theater (driver RC 4.5) Hauppauge PVR-150 Keyboard Logitech diNovo mini Logitech Harmony One remote Monitor/TV Samsung LN-T4761F Stereo Amplifier: Yamaha RXV-1600 (HDMI 1.2 only) BD software Software: PowerDVD 9 Ultra (recently upgraded to 10 Ultra) Initially the build had Vista Ultimate in it. Everything worked fine. My video went through the X-Fi and to my TV. Since my Yamaha doesn't have HDMI 1.3, I was using SPDIF out for the sound. This made things cumbersome switching to DD Live for video games and back again for everything else. Also, the Samsung Auto-Motion Plus settings looked better when I moved out of PC mode, but then that required me resizing my desktop to less than 1920X1020, but that all worked into a routine at least. Enter Windows 7. With all the anti-Vista hype, I purchased Windows 7 Pro 32 bit. Since then, I have successively had to contend with two things: 1: when playing a Blu-ray, the movie will stutter with a corresponding CPU spike, with the audio continuing before the picture jumps forward again. And 2: the dreaded black screen of death. For 1: I've disabled everything. Viruses, taskbar programs, Windows Update. Doesn't work. I run ReClock in the background, didn't seem to do anything. I unchecked the certificate thing that I read about in an AVS forum. Didn't work. What would cause CPU spikes with my new system? For 2: I've tried the PrevX fix. Didn't work. Sometimes my IR blaster registered as faulty (I understand that the PVR-150 isn't fully compatible with Win7), so I disable it to reboot. That doesn't work. I tried searching for viruses (Microsoft Security Essentials), and I've done the scandisk fix. Doesn't work. I’ve unplugged the video from the X-Fi card and put it back directly into the TV. Didn’t work. However, sometimes, it does work. I don't know what I do, but it does. The last thing I did recently from the last time it did work was update the nVidia drivers from 197.45 to 257.21. Now, nothing seems to work. I’ve since gone back into safe mode, uninstalled the graphics card, rebooted, used driver sweeper, reinstalled the latest driver and done it again. Didn’t work. After all the money I paid, I went out and bought a Samsung BD-C6500 for $230. I guess I'll go and try a system restore later and see what happens. Until then, I'm using my dependable Windows XP machine with a brick worth two grand that makes a black screen and a mouse cursor sitting in my living room. Any help or insight will be appreciated.