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Possible hardware failure

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I have been having some issues, and I'm not sure which direction to go now. Very recently, I have noticed some computer slowdown. Nothing too severe. Then a few days ago, I started noticing a stutter effect when playing my game(EQ2). My framerate would drop randomly, and the sound would sometimes stutter as well. Right after that, I realized that when playing my music, it would stutter and slow down. Sounds pretty bad.
My first thought was to update my sound drivers. I did that, to no avail. Updated video drivers next. Nothing. Then I realized that it was taking forever to boot. It always took longer that I thought it should on this PC, but now it is in the several minute range.
At that point I started thinking it might be my hard drive. I ran check disk, but it froze up and I had to go back to previous config to boot at all. All the SMART data shows to be good. I also ran HD Tune. It all looked good. I have ran multiple anti-spy tools(Spybot and Malwarebytes). I have scanned with antiviris. I have not yet tried pulling RAM sticks.
I'm just wondering what ideas others may have. I know that this could possibly be pretty well anything. What would you suggest trying first though? My CPU is an Athlon 64x2. Four gigs of RAM. Video is an ATI 2600HD. Oh, and the sound card is on-board. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. I'm considering formating, just to see if it helps. I did have a pretty bad infection of Virtumonde a bit ago. It took running Malwarebytes in safe mode, plus Hijackthis to get rid of it. It seems to be gone though.
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Did you go through the malware forum and have a tech go through your logs?
If not then you still may be infected.

I suggest you go to the Malware Forum and run all the steps located in the START HERE. These self-help tools will help you clean up 70% of problems on your own. If you are still having problems after doing the steps, then please post the reguested logs in THAT forum. If you are unable to run any of the tools then start a new topic in the malware forum and put this in the subject line...I am unable to run any malware tools

If you are still having problems after being given a clean bill of health from the malware expert, then please return to THIS thread and we will pursue other options to help you solve your current problem(s).
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