Once you've detected/removed the spyware and viruses - then it's time to check your resources.
Resources are what's available for processing stuff on your computer. RAM is the most commonly known resource - but there are others (like your CPU, hard drive, video card, etc) that can also slow down your system.
Start with your hard drive. Use Disk Cleanup and then Disk Defrag to get it back in shape. Generally, it's a good idea for you to have at least 15% free space on your drive so that Windows can do it's "magic" with your files. You can also use this free utility to monitor the SMART status of your hard drive: http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php
It also has a handy temperature monitoring tool also.
Next, if you're using XP the absolute minimum (IMO) amount of RAM is 512 mB - but you can even encounter problems if you have 2 gB (like I do) if your programs hog all of this.
Most commonly what happens is that programs that you install will make a portion of the program stay resident in memory (thus taking up memory resources). The cure here is 2 fold:
1) Use a program like StartupCPL (free here: http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml
) to trim the startup entries that are taking up your RAM. Here's a reference for the different entries that you'll find in the startup files: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/startups/
2) Modify your services using the services.msc applet to prevent unneeded services from running. Here's a link to a page that makes recommendations about services: http://www.theeldergeek.com/services_guide.htm
Edited by usasma, 08 May 2006 - 06:43 AM.
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