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Very strange internet gaming related problem

I thought I'd try here since no one else can help

8:57 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've posted this on a more appropriate forums, but so far no one has been able to help, so I thought I'd try here. For anyone familiar with the quake style lagometer, I am experiencing a big chunk of red (about 1/5 of the lagometer) every 1 minute and 5 seconds exactly. For those unfamiliar with quake games, the red stripes on the lagometer represent packet loss. I get about 10-20 all in a row. This only just started a few days ago, at a time when I cannot remember making any changes to my system. The game I usually play is Soldier of Fortune 2, but it also does it in Call of Duty (both games run on the quake engine). Here is what I have tried to do to fix it:

Adaware / spybot / microsoft spyware removal (nothing)
Virus scan, update etc. (nothing)
Disabled anti-virus
Killed all unnecessary processes and services
Uninstalled any programs I don't use anymore (cleanup never hurts anyway :p)
Reset modem (ADSL, SpeedTouch Pro 4-port)
Monitored netstat, modem NAT list - nothing
Reset game config
Monitored processes - explorer does come to the top every minute when sorted by CPU usage, but only out of the game. In game I can't see anything at all that stands out as an offender. SoF2MP.exe takes keeps 99% of the cpu the whole time while playing, or System Idle when not.

There's probably other things I've forgotten to mention, but I am really at the end of my tether here, my next option being reinstalling windows, however I'm not really keen on that, cause I just did it recently and I'm getting sick of it.

My computer specs are:

AMD 1800XP
ASUS A7V-233e latest bios
2x H/D, 1x 40g (split 10/30, OS/data), 1x 200g - all drives about 40% free space, defragged, 40g on pri, 200g on sec., IDE1
Realtek PCI NIC
SBLive PCI sound
Windows XP

Like I said, I'm keen to fix this without reinstalling windows, so if you have any ideas how I can track down this problem and solve it please let me know! If you need more info just ask. Thanks