Specs: 3.2 gig CPU, 4 gig Ram, Win XP SP3. New 1 TB SATA drive.
Symptom: Computer runs fine for several minutes, then freezes. I used Windows Task Manager to determine that the freeze corresponds with periodic spikes in CPU usage to 100%. I have isolated the source of the problem to the new SATA hard drive. When it is disconnected, there is no problem.
When the new drive is connected, the computer boots up and runs (from a different HD). With only the Windows Task Manager running, I can monitor CPU usage. It fluctuates between 0 and 6% for three minutes, then jumps to 50-55% where it hovers for 45 seconds. Then it jumps to 100% and freezes the computer for 45 seconds, before going back to 0-6%. The cycle starts over.
Windows Disc Manager indicates that the new HDD is not initialized, but the initialization process gets terminated by the CPU spikes before it can be completed.