Unfamiliar hardware problems

  ptrafc 17:55 30 Jun 2007

Recently I decided to reinstall windows, only to find that my HD had corrupted, so I had to purchase a new one.
However, once I reinstalled XP and all the drivers, I frequently got errors when trying to install programs (such as firefox) and only getting it to install after a reboot. This happened with most new programs I tried to install, in between the random crashes.
After installing as many windows updates as possible (failing many times for unknown reason during the installation), the SP2 installation decided to fail, causing my PC to fail on boot - this happened twice, both resulting in fresh XP installs.
This time I haven't installed many updates just so I can have some net access while I find a solution. What I have noticed is that if I try to install large programs such as games, it struggles after a couple of minutes and freezes on the install, forcing me to cancel - during which time the CPU is still working at 100%. This particular install does get further on if I select diagnostic startup, and even further if I do it in safe mode, which sound to me like some kind of memory problems.
I have checked my RAM using Memtest, and that is fine.

My specs are:
Asus A7N8X deluxe motherboard
Athlon 3200+ XP processor
Radeon 9800 pro graphics card

Thanks in advance for any replies.

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