Serious problems with virtual drives and CD images (system responds very slowly)

I’ve been using CD emulation for quite some time and I’ve never seemed to have a problem until recently. I don’t know if it’s SP2 or what but maybe somebody here can shed a little light on my problem. I’ve tried both Daemon Tools and Alcohol 120% for emulation and I’m getting the same problem with both. Sometimes my images will load up fine and I can access them just like I had the CD in the drive. Other times they will not load at all, I get some odd error messages occassionally (something about access violation) and other times they will simply not be recognized at all, like there’s no CD in the drive whatsoever. The most curious issue I’ve run across though is when my system resources seem to go to hell in a handbasket. From time to time it seems as though my virtual drives are taxing my CPU so much that the entire computer slows down to a crawl. I mean it will sometimes take 2 to 3 minutes just to redraw Windows Explorer. I’ve seen the system slow down both when the image was recognized and it’s also happened when the image was not recognized by the drive. I’ve had this same problem with both Daemon Tools and Alcohol and I’ve tried enabling/disabling every combination of options on both programs. Can somebody please help me out with this, or can anybody else confirm similar problems on their systems?