I am sorry for such a non-specific title, but that will be exactly the point of my question - to ask you to specify my problem. (I'm new here so I hope I'm at the right place.)
I started my PC as usually, but it loaded unusually slowly - about 3-5 times than normal - and it stayed that slow from that time. Booting (loading my OS) is slow, using every program is slow, average videos get choppy or the video player crashes, web browser works slow or crashes.. Even opening the folder takes significantly more time.
I tried to reboot several times, but it didn't help. I use the Comodo firewall and Avira antivirus so I think I'm quite well protected, nevertheless I searched for malware and none was found. Well, all this happens from the early start of my OS so if it was a malware, it would have to be really good one..
OS: Windows XP, SP3 PC: AMD Athlon 4200+ (2,2GHz) 64X2 Dual; 2*1GB RAM (Dual channel); ATI Radeon HD 2600XT; HDD Seagate Baracuda 7200.11 SATA 320GB.
Can it be a hardware problem? I tried to remove each of the two operating memories (in case of failure of one of them) and run the PC with only one of them, but problem persisted.
Can it be a software problem? I was thinking about to try to run the Windows Repair from my windows CD in case that there just got something weird in windows.. I don't know if it can help though.
I'd like to take the full OS reinstal of my beloved PC as the last option. :-(
I hope I gave enough information.
Thank you for any ideas.
edit: I should say that this situation already occured a couple of times some months ago, but in every case PC reboot helped, so I considered it to be just some bad OS load or sth..