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PC acting weird during downloads and media file playing

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OK, I don't know if this is related to my other problem (drive not recognizing DVDs) but it started happening around the same time. Whenever I go to play an internet video file or music file, the pc begins to "race" (sounds like the disk drive is going to take off) and the mouse jumps around...making it impossible to do anything while doing this action.

Also, it does this whenever I download ANYTHING... it's getting worse now... Is there a problem with my hard drive? The pc is only a year old!

OS: Windows XP Pro

Dell Dimension, DM051 Pentium D cpu266ghz
1 gb ram
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