I'm back again, with an all new and much more serious problem and I have no idea what to do about it anymore.
I installed win7 finally and for the last week or so everything's been peachy keen. Until I tried placing my previous boot disk in the PC as a slave so I could retrieve some old program files I neglected to save elsewhere. Well it failed to start up with the old HDD in, I tried swapping it as the master and disconnecting all other drives (as it still has an install of winXP on it), still would not boot. I tried reconnecting it through the IDE raid controller pci card that it was previously hooked up to (due to my mobo only having one IDE port that was previously in use by my old CD drive). Checked the bios each time and it was not recognizing the old HDD.
I gave up, deciding I was SOL on those old files. Plugged the correct HDDs back in started it up and then it powered down in the middle of start up. Kept trying, and it kept failing either shortly after windows started or just before. I checked all plugs, jiggled and pushed them in to make sure they weren't the problem, started again, and failed shortly after windows loaded.
I got my boyfriend to poke in it a bit since he's a bit more tech savvy than I am, after a few minutes of poking about inside the case he somehow got it to start up and run normally. I let it idle while I went to shower, by the time I got out, it had shut down again. Started it back up, let it idle and went about other things and it shut down sometime after a few hours. Basically continuing this all night and this morning with each time between shut downs increasing or decreasing somewhat. Sometimes significantly to the point of shutting down within seconds of powering on.
This is my motherboard http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3013#ov
The component that reads "gigabyte" feels fairly hot compared to the rest of the system which all feels fairly cool. Not quite burning hot, I can rest my hand on it just fine, but it's very noticeably warm. It sits next to my RAM, possibly the cause of my RAM also feeling fairly warm.
After a ten minute rest and starting up with a stand up fan pointed directly at this area on high, I'm fairly certain there's a heating issue focused to my mobo. My concern is am I going to have to replace my motherboard to fix this?