Have you searched for malware using a free, online scanner? If not, please be aware that some viruses can corrupt your antivirus software and make it give false results. So, an independent verification of "clean" is often necessary.
Here's a couple of free ones:http://safety.live.comhttp://housecall.trendmicro.com
If you are indeed clean, then it appears that your OS is corrupted. That being the case, you can try using SFC.EXE /SCANNOW to help out ( http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/43051/how-to-use-sfcexe-to-repair-system-files/
) or you can proceed directly to a repair install of XP (this won't affect your programs or data - but backing up is still advised): http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
XP installations don't get along well with existing infections, so it's essential that you remove any before trying the repair - otherwise you may drive the malware deeper into hiding and make it much harder to remove (may even require a clean install of Windows after formatting the hard drive).
Finally, I'd suggest checking your hard drive with a diagnostic utility from the manufacturer of the hard drive. Slow response times can also be caused by a failing hard drive.
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