I spent several hours with a senior programmer from Microsoft, who remotely checked all the logs and programs. He uninstalled and re-installed programs he thought were causing problems. The core issue resulted from a factory-related installed issue from the manufacturer, Hewlett Packard. Microsoft could not resolve the service pack issue, though to the tech's credit, he certainly tried. I contacted HP, re-activated my extended warranty ($100.00), and they performed the same tests. The result? A system wipe and restore (they remotely controlled this). This took 3 attempts, and several hours, but finally vista sp1, sp2 and all relevant updates installed. I then upgraded to windows 7 (very easy), and it is fantastic--like XP, but super fast. No more headaches; I like my laptop again!