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Dell 1558 I/O error + System crashing

I have a Dell Studio 1558 (Core i7, 6G Ram, 500G HD, ATi HD5470) (Not more than a few months old - still in warranty) Some events that started happening with my laptop starting a few days ago in ...
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Computer freezes once in a while for a few seconds then goes back to normal while there is disk activity at the time of the freeze. Any idea why?

I tried to bring down most services, to try to get the disk out of sleep routines, to get it out of indexing of windows, but still no go. I suspect it's low level I/O related but can it be fixed? Or ...