hey sorry to keep buggin you like this, but you seem to know what your talking about...
I just realized I never restored the DEFAULT settings... I restored the OPTIMUM settings.
Soooooo.. I've restored the "fail-safe" default settings, and things are running fine.
The Primary/Secondary Master/Slave PIO levels are back to Auto.
Now i'm trying to do what you suggested and enable my Primary Master UDMA setting by selecting auto (there's only auto or disabled as options) in CMOS. however, under the default setting, it is disabled, and when i choose auto for my Primary Master UDMA, the computer starts getting screwed up like my original problem before. whats going on?
your other advice was to go into device manager and select the DMA setting for my hard drive that way, and I've done that and things seem to check out ok.
should I care about the fact that CMOS won't let me change my Primary Master UDMA mode to auto, even though my device manager has DMA checked off?
thanks a lot, its much appreciated.