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My Dell Inspiron laptop was slow from the beginning but I was able to do all my work comfortably. The last few days, though, it has become too slow to do any work.

It is unresponsive for any type of work, be it playing music or typing a Word document. Even the right click menu takes a few minutes to appear. And during this time if more input is given than system will hang and thus will have to restart. Even after restart, the system is still unresponsive.

Today, my system stopped responding completely. It starts normally but cannot perform a single task.

Furthermore, I don't have a Windows 7 boot CD.

What's wrong? How can I fix this?

Specs:

  • Core i3 @ 2.40 GHz
  • 3 GB RAM
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
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Try running CCleaner, disable items from starting up, make sure defragmenter is running on schedule, etc. –  kobaltz May 5 '12 at 13:22
    
Your hard drive might be going bad. When it hangs, is the disk access light always on? –  tapped-out May 5 '12 at 13:28
    
If your system is dusty/dirty inside, the CPU might be overheating fast and slowing itself down to prevent damage. Remove the cover and see if you need to clean. Remove the fan off the heatsink, blow everything clean with compressed air. On one computer, I had to pull 1cm thick of dust off and out of the heatsink. –  Robert Kerr May 5 '12 at 13:35
    
Check your running processes, see what's taking up your CPU. If nothing is, then there's most likely a hardware problem. If something is, determine what the application is (could be malware). –  Breakthrough May 6 '12 at 14:56
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