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System Running VERY SLOW - Win. XP Pro

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My computer is running very slowly, I recently got this computer refurbished from my local computer dealer. It was running just fine until about 2 weeks ago then, out of no where it began being extremely slow. Not only is it running slow but it also has been freezing when opening a window or browsing the internet. I have tried using my CCleaner and fixing my registry. I've tried defraging my computer, running virus scans, updating my drivers, uninstalling unnecessary programs (even tho I didn't have many to begin with), and nothing seems to work. I have no viruses that Avast can detect, my SmartDeFrag has defragged and fully optimized to 0% fragmented files, I use CCleaner at least once a week, and just in case you are wondering I have loads of free space on my computer 439GB free out of 596GB. My SmartDoctor let's me know that my CPU and graphics Card are not over heating, also my fans are clean (I checked) and yet my computer is becoming so slow that it takes 5 or more minutes just to restart when it use to take only about a minute and a half tops. I really don't have the money to buy a new computer or new software, and I just spent 350$ on this computer. I just don't know what to do anymore because I honestly don't know much about computers, any suggestions?

Microsoft Windows XP
Professional Version 2002
Service Pack 3

Pentium® 4 CPU 3.20GHz
3.19 GHz, 1.50 GB of Ram

HD 439GB free of/ 596GB

NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS
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Sounds like a memory problem you might want to invest in some more memory as you said when you bought it was ok that is because all you had on it was the operating system but as you had programs they uses up some of the memory some programs use a lot of memory so you can find out which program or software is using the RAM the most or buy some more memory.
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If I was you I would download the bootable ISO image of MEMTEST86 and burn it to a cd and test your RAM sticks one at a time to see if one of them is faulty.

Here is a link on how to use MEMTEST86

Hope that helps.
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Also I would like to add the following steps.

Download Autoruns from the link in my signature below:

1: Extract the Autoruns Zip file contents to a folder.
2: Double-click the "Autoruns.exe".
3: Click on the "Everything" tab
4: Remove any entries that mention "File Not Found" by right-clicking the entry and select Delete.
5: Go to File then to Export As or Save in some versions.
6: Save AutoRuns.txt file to known location like your Desktop.
7: Attach to your next reply.

To further expand on Alzeimer's post here is the complete instructions for memtest86.

A If you have more than one RAM module installed, try starting computer with one RAM stick at a time.

NOTE Keep in mind, the manual check listed above is always superior to the software check, listed below. DO NOT proceed with memtest, if you can go with option A

B. If you have only one RAM stick installed...
...run memtest...

1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip). If you prefer to use the USB version then use this link USB KEY
2. Unzip downloaded /memtest86+-4.20.iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find /memtest86+-4.20.iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:

Posted Image

8. Locate memtest86+-4.20.iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:

Posted Image

10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run. You may have to change the boot sequence in your BIOS to make it work right.

To change Boot Sequence in your BIOS

Reboot the system and at the first post screen (where it is counting up memory) start tapping the DEL button
This will enter you into the Bios\Cmos area.
Find the Advanced area and click Enter
Look for Boot Sequence or Boot Options and highlight that click Enter
Now highlight the first drive and follow the directions on the bottom of the screen on how to modify it and change it to CDrom.
Change the second drive to the C or Main Drive
Once that is done then click F10 to Save and Exit
You will prompted to enter Y to verify Save and Exit. Click Y and the system will now reboot with the new settings.

The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:

Posted Image

It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

Posted Image

The following image is the test results area:

Posted Image

The most important item here is the “errors” line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.
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Are you still having problems with your issue?
It has been 29 days since your last response and I was wondering if the issue has been resolved?
If so can you explain how it was resolved so others may be able to fix it if they have the same issue.
If not please let us know and we can continue with helping you to resolve the issue.
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