I actually did pretty good with 1.5gb and win7 with my laptop which I have used both an T2310 and a T7700 in. Maybe you have too many background apps running. Ever do a msconfig to keep unnecessary programs from starting up? Your lack of ram is making the job take longer, I do not argue that, but disabling programs you do not need running all the time would be a big help due to your low ram amount.
there is nothing working in the background.