My desktop is a Vista Gateway machine with 3GB of memory. Somebody gave me a couple of 2GB memory sticks, and I replaced the old sticks (2x1GB + 2x512MB) with the new ones (used, actually). Machine recognized the new memory, but it was now working very badly. For example, Windows Explorer took up to a minute to fire up, simple things like copying folders took tens of minutes instead of tens of seconds to do. Getting a right-click context menu up took a good thirty seconds or longer. I gave up and reinstalled the original memory. Amazingly, the new bad behavior continued!
I played with the situation for awhile. Interestingly, I could play COD MW2 fine on the thing, except that every three seconds the sound would hiccup, and sometimes everything would hang for a second or two. I noticed that playing videos on YouTube was giving me the same hiccup. I tried playing a movie in the DVD player and sometimes the video would lag while the audio played on, then suddenly catch up -- and vice versa.
I resorted to reinstalling Vista from the restore disk, but when I was done I still had The same slow behavior when running Windows Explorer. To see if I had a hard disk issue, I tried running Spinrite on it, and suspiciously it only got to 57% of the disk before it seemed to hang up on me. It ran overnight and never budged off 57%, nor updated its running time! I'm tempted to just go out and buy a new hard drive, but if the problem is some other hardware that won't help. Is it an OS issue or a hardware issue?
I am out of ideas. Any suggestions are welcome!