Windows Install, Boot, Run VERY slow PLEASE HELP!


I have recently built my first computer as a Christmas gift for my family and am having the worst time getting it finished. At first, I tried to install Vista Business 64 bit but when it started trying to copy the files from the disk I got error code 0x80070057 and it said that it could not copy the files. Then, I installed Windows 7 Pro 64-bit. I didn't get any errors, and the install seemed fine. It went as quickly as I expected. Then, the first time that it was booted up, I started trying to install updates and it was running very slowly so I tried tried to restart it but it wasn't responding. Then I did a hard reset. The next boot-up, it was going very slowly (took several minutes to reach the Starting Windows screen). So, I tried to do another clean install of Windows 7. This time, the setup ran very slowly. I tried many different things in an attempt to get it going more quickly (changing SATA cables, BIOS settings, clear CMOS, etc.) Finally, I just let the installation run and it completed (from turning on to seeing the desktop screen) in about 18 hours. Now, it still boots very slowly (it takes about 30 minutes to an hour to boot up) and runs so slowly that it is unusable. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what the problem might be? Here is the component list:

Asus M4A785TD-V EVO Motherboard
AMD Athlon II X2 245 2.9 GHz Processor
Antec EarthWatts Green 380W PSU
Asus Radeon HD 5550 128-bit 1 GB DDR3 Graphics
Asus DRW-24B1S Disc Drive
Western Digital WD5000AAKS Hard Drive

Is it maybe just a bad hard drive? Or a RAM problem? Please help!
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More about windows install boot slow help
  1. I would start by trying to run it wit one ram stick at a time and see if that speeds it up. Otherwise follow this guide and the bread boarding link in it if the guide does not help
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