Guess I should have specified that...
The moment a new Windows install boots to the desktop, I commence to turning off all fluff that I know of. I disable all the following (depending on the OS) in every place I can find it, control panels, services, gpedit, where ever:
UAC, System Restore, Volume Shadow Copies, Readyboost, Superfetch, Defender, Windows Firewall, Gadgets Platform, Indexing and Search, Error Reporting, Wake on LAN stuff, Cool n Quiet and S.M.A.R.T in the BIOS, Set high performance mode and disable screensavers, sleep and HDD shutdown set to never, Hibernation disabled via "powercfg -H off", no Desktop Composition, or shadows, transparency, fading, or any other desktop bling bling.
The sata driver I had not considered. Are there any that aren't for raid? I'll have to look around on that one.
See anything I missed there? I probably forgot a couple things that I turn off. I think I'll go slap my Windows 7 Image back on here and try it out a bit more (using XP now). I'm eyeballing this Antec
power supply just in case too. Topower makes some decent PSU's but I don't really trust mine being I can find no info on it.
EDIT: I restored my image of Windows 7 Pro 64, did chkdsk /f, then was about to check and make sure I had unchecked indexing from the drives, right clicked "Backup (D)" to see properties, got an hourglass, no menu. Thought hmmm, I'll try to open it from my desktop shortcut...