For starters a hard drive needs about a 1 gig free to run properly so if it is less than 50% full then you don't need to delete any data for working process. (You might want to back up data besides)
Well, I definitely have more than one gig free so that shouldn't be an issue...
About the computer being slow I would recommend to add memory to 512 MB or to 1 gig this will improve the speed of the computer. It may be old but depends what you use it for if you are debating on buying a new one. I have a P4 2.4Ghz with 1 gig memory and it runs great.
I have thought about that since we only have a 248 RAM, but how easy is that to do? Is the component I buy going to be super specific and does it have to be programmed into the machine or will it install itself? This is all new territory to me.
About the being slow did you post in the malware section or just did the first steps? if you did not post there then you should it sounds like it could be in that direction. This should help speed up the computer.
Like I said, I know I'm clean of all malware thanks to the people here, I cleaned out a lot of little bugs that I'm sure were slowing it down some, but it still gets very sluggish and literally locks up from time to time, to the point that we can't even shut it down, we have to pull the plug and restart that way. I HATE doing that but the machine leaves us no option.
Also, maybe one out of every 20 start-ups we get a message saying there was a hardware problem found, since I know nothing about fixing that sort of thing I hit F2 and continue to start up.
You get this message when you turn on the computer or in windows? Next time it happens post what is reports.
We get it when we turn it on before windows starts, it give me no report, no code, all it says to do is go into set up to fix it, but when I get there I don't see where the problem exists. I have let it go through the Scandisk and it always comes back fine, yet I continue to get this screen on occasion with no idea where to start.
Also go and click on start -> run now type devmgmt.msc this opens the device manager are there any yellow balloons on any devices?
OK, I have done this and there are no yellow balloons by any of the devices or in the drop down menus under the devices. This reminds me, I also did driver updates about a week ago to make sure all my drivers were up to date thinking that may be slowing it down, it hasn't made a difference good or bad.