OK, in general, I've been very, very happy with the 27" i7 I bought this February (i.e. previous version, not the very latest). But in recent weeks a problem has been getting worse and worse. My specs: 27" i7, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, running 10.6.4. with all the updates. I have 2 external HDD hooked up to my iMac - one of them running TimeMachine. I've had this setup from day one, back in February. Problem: the last few weeks, I cannot launch anything without several seconds, sometimes as long as 20 seconds of the iMac stalling while the external HDDs spin up. It's crazy - there's no reason for them to spin up. There's always been the intermittent idiotic problem with this when you "Save" in OS X - any document or whatever, before the dialogue comes up, it spins up all the external drives... it's stupid, but OK, at least it makes some kind of sense, in case you want to save to an external drive. But in recent weeks it's gotten ridiculous - it now spins up the stupid external drives when I launch any random program, for example it just happened when I launched Apple's Dictionary app! I mean there's no reason on earth why the iMac should stall and spin up the external drives before it launches the freakin' dictionary!!! It even happens sometimes - and I have no idea why - that it hesitates and spins up the drives when I'm trying to write an email in Gmail in Safari!! It's absolutely insane. This is so frustrating. This iMac used to be so fast. Now it's constantly throwing up spinning balls every time I try to launch anything. Aargh! It's a chore to operate this computer now. I can't think of what changed. The HDD is not full by any means. I've repaired permissions until I'm blue in the face, I've rebooted, I've connected and disconnected the external drives. Nada. WTF???! Any ideas? TIA!