OK, a long shot suggestion is to try disabling stuff. First up, disconnect your modem, and WiFi, after you're into the game's menu and ready to hit play. Give it a chance to complain, and then click away that screen, if the game is going to do that. As long as you're offline it should be safe to disable any anti-virus software you have. Do you have "Indexing" enabled for your drives? If so, try turning it off. Check out everything you have running in the background, other than stuff like Explorer, and experiment in turning them all off. Use Task Manager/Processes for that, or something equivalent or better. Turn off all automation like screensavers, and see if your power options need changing. Maybe you have it set to turn off some of your hardware when not in use?