XP hangs while starting up, crashing after switching accts

Hi, my computer has 2 problems.

First is, my computer hangs while starting up. After I log into my account, Windows XP loads about half way then stops for maybe a minute and I can open no programs. If I double click on a program such as Google Chrome, I get the hourglass icon for maybe half a second then it goes away.

After a minute, the yellow shield icon appears in the lower right corner saying Updates are ready and then the computer finishes starting up like normal and the program I clicked on opens, usually while completing startup. Even after installing the updates, the computer still hangs while starting up.

-I assume Windows hangs because it is checking for updates, is there any way to alleviate this issue?

Second problem is, my computer freezes after switching accounts. Another person is using the computer, then logs out and I log into my account, and maybe 3-4 minutes later the computer freezes and I have to restart.

I'm sorry this is extremely vague, but i have no clue why this is happening. I've exhausted all searches on Google.

Thanks for reading, any advice is appreciated.
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More about hangs starting crashing switching accts
  1. Sounds like the hard drive is starting to fail.
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