My operating system, which I know is stated in my profile, is Windows XP and I currently have Service Pack 3. When I boot up my computer, the startup screen (the blue one where you log in) always loads extremely slowly. Additionally, whenever I log off or shut down the computer, it also takes an extremely long period of time for the computer to finally follow the command. Just five minutes ago, my mother logged off of her account and clicked on the "switch users" button. As the computer began to log off, it seemed to have frozen. Finally, it showed the screen which says "Saving your personal settings". However, the screen then turned completely black (but the computer was still on) and there was no cursor. I could not get the computer working again without manually shutting down (by this i mean pressing the button on the tower). In addition to assistance, I would also like the answers to some questions which I have:
1. Is it bad to click on the "Switch Users" option? I have heard that it is from some sources, but others say it does not matter.
2. Could Internet Explorer (version 8.0) be slowing down my system? Again, I have heard a variety of opinions about the browser; some people have told me Mozilla Firefox is safer, while others have said that IE is better than Firefox.