1: Hard Disk drives (fat32, any of the NTFS versions) can easily develop hardware & software problems. So use "TOOLS" in Windows, mark the disk check box on all suspect drives, then reboot, if necessary.
If you are using your 100+ GB drive to the MS Windows default (one big drive C), this test & error correction can take several hours. Never have the Boot drive more than 25 GB, and put your data & program files on another partition. Microsoft are so dumb, they don't encourage nor easily make this possible.
2: Run several re-boots. Each time, XP, VISTA, 7 ... will auto-repair.
3: Before Windows has a chance to start on boot, press F8 function key to select SAFE MODE. Then use START, ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS, SERVICES to turn off the added-on non-Ms Windows functions.
After doing this several times, you will eventually find out which of your unofficial add-ons are slowing your computer.
4: Use the freeware: STARTER.EXE and / or PROCESS EXPLORER. If PROCESS EXPLORER, VIEW;SHOW PROCESSES FROM ALL USERS. Select columns so that you can see the CPU-TIME, CPU-CYCLES, PAGE FAULTS.
Both freewares allow PRIORITY SETTING. If you use freeware WINPATROL, you can disable, enable or DELAY-START any program. This will fix slow or buggy Windows very simply, quickly & easily.
5: AssuE that you have scheduled daily tasks at off peak times: freeware SMART DEFRAG, COBIAN BACKUP, VIRUS SCANNING (AVG or AVAST) & MS SYSTEM RESTORE.
Greg Zeng (brain crippled vegetable), Australian Capital Territory.