The older digital mods will cause issues with the newer SD. Mainly the autohide ones. They cause LOTS of crashes..... for me at least. So during testing, no digital mods!
The only problem I am having right now is a sleep/wake up issue, and I gaurantee you it's the mobo/windows and not SD (having the same problem with just windows running).
I also think I should quantify these load times. We are trying to load SD at the fastest possible time. In order to do that, windows can't be doing anything else. So SD in the startup folder will not give you 2 second start times. In order to test streetdeck, you must finish windows loading and all startups (speedfan, xport, any tsr's, etc.). I would suggest putting the SD tray into the startup folder. SD seems to have less trouble starting if that is already running. Once your harddrive light is no longer blinking, then start SD and time it. I also find the second load is faster than the first, so maybe shutdown and start again. Once you have the 2-3 second load, THEN you need to back it up and then start working with Windows to get it faster.
Edit: I haven't tried it yet, but would love to see how SD would react if you made everything "read only". I, too, had SD running great for a month, and then out of the blue, crashes for that parameter out of range error.