> I'm curious how, from a technical standpoint, an HDD would get more worked with
> throttling on.
That's not at all what people are saying. What people are saying is that throttling/unthrottling the game should have literally zero end result on whether or not the game boots properly. Therefore, the user's hard drive is clearly flaky, and is sometimes returning valid data for the CHD, and sometimes it isn't. The CHD-man is not the issue here, dude.