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Given that you called some guy to replace your HDD on a laptop, did you check to make sure both sticks or Ram were in and seated properly?
I just had an issue with a buddy of mine where we deconstructed a laptop (for purposes of little significance) then when we reconstructed it there were only 2 gigs of ram and everything was kinda chugging along. Then we checked and realized one card wasn't seated properply.
If both cards are in, a simple, reasonably firm push should be all you need to get things back in order.