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What are the first steps for diagnosing a slow machine?

So I received this HP Desktop at work, running WindowsXP SP3, specs are good enough for XP, with a good video card:
video: radeon HD 4550
CPU: E8500 3.2Ghz
RAM: 3GB

I don't have admin privs on this machine.

The problem is ever since I got it, it's running intermittently slow. It'd run fine for about 10-30 seconds, then everything freeze for 3-5 seconds, then run fine again for another 10-30 seconds and it goes on like this forever. This happens no matter what I do, even when I don't open anything. The CPU usage during the whole time would stay below 5% and no noticeable process is using any CPU. I have the following programs staying in memory:
* Symantec endpoint protection (corporate AV software, I can't disable due to privs)
* Adobe application updater
* Privacy Icon Client from intel (some corporate software)

Any ideas what could be causing this?

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marked as duplicate by studiohack Apr 14 '11 at 17:19

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1 Answer

Try deleting the temporary files using Disk CleanUp.
Look for any suspicious process in the Task Manager (It may be a virus).
Then find information about that process from exelib

It may also be a hardware problem.
But first make sure its not a virus.

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