I have a mysterious problem with my XP laptop. Since a) installing the latest windows updates and b) using Picasa 3.6 to look through dozens of GB of photos for faces, it now takes ages (first time: 45mins, second time: 10 mins) to get from login to a populated desktop. The whole time the hard drive light is on.
I am also experiencing odd freezing of the UI - in a context menu, or trying to start Access Connections, the window may freeze and no longer redraw until I eventually kill it off with the task manager (which may also take several minutes to respond). Other things seem fine; Firefox is working as usual, for example, although the first time it took 30 minutes until the WiFi was recognised :/
I have tried uninstalling the dodgy windows update, which has not helped. Could it be Picasa slowing me down? if so, is there a service I should stop or something? Any ideas would be much appreciated!