I believe i have an old 9300gt floating around somewhere... It doesn't have a fan but i could rig something up. IIRC i ran it passively successfully without crazy temps so long as i didn't push it.
My thoughts on the HDD causing errors is that the drivers are on corrupt sectors or something of that nature.
Yes, I tried the newest drivers. Although nvidia experience suggested a specific "gaming" driver that was different than what I had seen as the newest display driver for the gtx460.
So far so good with this HDD and linux... the only thing ive noticed (and probably only cause i'm being hyper critical of everything right now) is that typing occasionally lags a little.
Ok, so after playing around with the Linux HDD, I came back to my Win7 HDD and the computer has been running for a couple hours with no issues. the only thing that I changed was the SATA cable between the HDD's. Could my issues have been a poorly connected SATA cable? I will keep an eye on this and keep you all updated