Windows XP Suddenly Extremely Slow?

Hey Tom's Hardware.

Right, today i woke up, i turned on the computer and everything was normal. Computer booted into windows XP nice and fast as per usual, and i played some Battlefield 2142 after checking some messages/emails.
Later i played some Crysis to find i had to mess around with updating punkbuster in order to get it to work. Failing that i looked around the internet with Firefox and then contacted punkbuster for help and went back to play BF2142 again. But! The map took absolutely ages just to get halfway. So i assumed Crysis had eaten up enough resources to make everything else sluggish. So i rebooted, only to discover i couldn't boot into XP! It just hung there with the little loading bar animation for what seemed like an indefinite period of time. I hit the reset button and try to boot in another three times without success. I try booting into my Vista install and have no trouble whatsoever. So i boot into safemode and find everything to be quite slow, but it's hard to gauge the speed of safe mode as most graphics drivers aren't loaded. So anyway i schedule a disk check for when i next boot in. I do so again in safe mode and after what feels like 10 minutes on the safe-mode boot screen the computer reboots. Still can't boot into XP. So i decide to lay down and leave the XP boot screen running to see if what would happen. And after about (literally) 10 minutes the computer finally boots into XP. 10 minutes!!

Then it took about three minutes for the login screen to appear, then about five minutes to actually log-in and display the desktop after i'd entered my password.

I tried running a few utilities such as some registry cleaner and Spybot S&D. They can barely run. I managed to clean the registry, but Spybot would just stop responding. Anything i try to launch takes about 10 seconds to even think about initialising.

I am now back in Vista. Things seem ever so slightly more sluggish than usual, but i can't be certain.

My specs are as follows: 4gigs RAM. Q6600 Quadcore Processor at 2.40Ghz. 8800GT Graphics card.

I have three hard drives, they are:

Primary (XP Install): IDE Maxtor 6B250R0 ~50% free
Secondary (Vista Install): Brand new SATA Samsung HD501LJ
Tertiary (Games/Programs/Etc): Western Digital IDE drive

Vista is running on 64Bit while XP is running 32Bit.

Any advice would be very very appreciated. Thanks dudes
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  1. By the way, one small detail i omitted by accident. I have an Eclipse2 keyboard, and during a normal boot screen sequence, the backlighting goes off for a few seconds and then comes back on before the boot screen exits. However the light didn't come back on for the entire 10 minutes i waited until the last second before exiting to the login screen.
  2. :( Topic Bump.
  3. Hey purplefire,
    did you end up solving this?

    cus i'm running out of ideas on how to attempt to fix mine,
    I just installed a brand new sata drive to replace the ide drive i had, and now it takes several minutes to bootup / log in / shut down etc (not quite 10 tho,..) even tho i've removed it, and put the ide i replaced back in ,... (my first original sata still present, thats what xp is installed on)
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