Very interesting theory. I "accidentally" did a double reboot last week when initiating the hard disk surface scan (missed the right place to enter diagnotics mode on the first boot, so had to restart a second time). Since then it seems that the frenetic disk activity has been less, but not virtually zero (as it was before 0x034C). I have not been around the last few days, so will pay close attention in the coming week and post whether (a) the noise has really abated and (b) the hiccups on playback have been curtailed or not. And FWIW - I have local SAT and local OTA channels in my guide data.