On an older computer it's essential to keep anything but essentials from loading at startup, extra programs just eat up ram and cpu cycles. The newer programs like McAfee and Norton's suites load a new computer down too much for my tastes.
It's a "can't have your cake and eat it too" problem. I just upgraded my daughter to a 3 year old system from a 5 year old one, her free avg antivirus significantly slowed the system down, but that's the price of protection.
See if msconfig finds some things you could eliminate from startup, adjust windows for best performance, do disk cleanup, burn off/back up as much data as possible. Defrag when you get as much free space as possible.
Make sure that the inside of your case is clean, dirt/dust/lint/dust bunnies kill hardware and performance.
I am a bad example since I don't use real time protection, I would rather have a fast computer that works good, you have to be very careful then.
Add more ram if your computer only has 256 megs and it's using the swap file/virtual memory much.
How big should the page file be?
There is a great deal of myth surrounding this question. Two big fallacies are:
The file should be a fixed size so that it does not get fragmented, with minimum and maximum set the same
The file should be 2.5 times the size of RAM (or some other multiple)
Edited by DaChew, 03 January 2008 - 12:33 PM.