enlightenment seems to be taking the most CPU cycles.

posting my xorg.conf contents isn't something I can do easily since I only successfully managed to open the terminal and XMMS (I prob should've tried to play some music to see what happens). I also transferred my hard drive to an external enclosure, though it failed to mount using kateos ... interesting.

Assuming it's not some dodgy connection with the circuits connecting the IDE communications then it has been suggested that I run memtest and see what becomes of that.

Something else has been suggested is that it could be temperature related, though my CPU tends to stay somewhere close to 30 degrees celcius and my machine is well ventilated, plus taking the cover off doesn't make a difference to how it performs.

If memtest doesn't answer my question then I might try a download of Ultimate boot CD (if I can get that free?).

Any other suggestions in the mean time are welcome though.

Thanks again for your help devils casper