Thanks for the reply!
So yes - I have Priiloader installed and block online and disc-based updates are ENABLED. In the meantime - I have turned Standby and WiiConnect24 off - just for now. I don't like the standby thing anyway - so I'll probably always keep that off.
Well ventilated? Well there is no separate fan there - and it is the top shelf of entertainment center - on TOP of the HDD (which seems to get pretty warm.) I may have to rethink the location.
I will generate the SysCheck IOS later (off to bed here after this post.)
So how about the games not playing and rebooting to system menu? I have now verified this with both Call of Duty 3 and Red Steel.
Additionally - one time in between these posts - I loaded CFG USB Loader and I got the 'mounting' screen. It did its 30 sec timeout and didn't find the HDD. Upon resetting and starting again - no prob. (Did I get/do a bad Mod Install here or am I seeing stuff that 'comes with the territory' for messing with the brains of this machine")
Also - I just noticed that the HomeBrew channel will load up the apps (standard from the SoftMod Guide Install) - but when I run...say the WiiMC - it says "Error..." on loading files. Doesn't it read off of HDD? I swear it was doing that yesterday - but I could be wrong - it may have been SD card. (Don't remember.) Also - the SaveExtractLoader thingy - (yes -I'm noob to this - 48 hours and counting) also gives me the error that nothing to load. Correct or should it be recognizing HDD?