Thank you in advance for reading. I have HP desktop (AMD Athlon 64 3500+ with fan, 2 GB RAM, EVGA graphics card with fan, plenty of free HDD space) running WinXP (with all of the updates through today). I run a combination of Ad-Aware, Spybot, Spyware Blaster, and Norton 360 for protection. The cpu is overclocked. I have run the utilities from Norton 360 and iolo System Mechanic--defragging, deleting internet much, registry cleaning, etc. I have examined to the best of my ability all of the services and programs that load at startup and removed anything that seemed unfamiliar or suspicious.
However, my PC still boots up VERY slowly (more than 5 minutes) and opening programs also load VERY slowly. Going from screen to screen in various software is anywhere from okay to slightly slower than it used to be but the Start menu often freezes while I'm moving the cursor or after clicking a selection. I have gone to dslreports.com and run the speed test and my internet connection speeds are okay, though sometimes a page or more will load very slowly.
This slowing down has occured over perhaps the last 6 months. There is no evidence of malware, trojans, viruses or hardware failure.
Doing a reinstall is so complex because some software may never work again (OLD but used often), restoring program data will take forever, etc. etc., and because it's an OEM copy of WinXP, I can't do any of the tricks some you do with a CD-ROM copy of Windows.
PLEASE HELP me make my PC run the way it used to!
BTW: Everything was working smoothly and quickly for quite awhile before I noticed things slowing down.