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Submission + - Has XP Suddenly Slowed Down?

WhoaNotSoFast writes: For the last few weeks, I've noticed XP boxes slowing down dramatically. Typically the screen freezes for 10-30 seconds — e.g. the Start menu won't come up — and there's lots of disk activity. It's happening on unrelated PCs at different locations. I notice it most on quitting IE or Firefox, but it occurs at other times also. Most of the PCs have 256MB of RAM and adequate free disk space. Most are running Windows Firewall, AVG Anti-Virus and either Windows Defender or Counterspy Enterprise. They're not loading much else at startup. The XP event logs don't show anything unusual. I've run Rootkit Revealer on some of the machines, and found nothing. Task Manager doesn't show any excess CPU utilization. Unplugging the network connection doesn't seem to make a difference. Has anyone else noticed this behavior? Is there an infection I haven't found? Is there a paging problem? Has XP grown so large that it needs more physical memory? Or could it be a ploy by MS to nudge us toward Vista? Is XP developing early dementia? Or am I?

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