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My computer with Windows XP installed becomes very slow after I ran some heavy tasks at a time. (play a full 3D online game while extracting a 4GB RAR archive)

It freezes for about 200~500ms every few seconds, and this always happens if I do heavy tasks at once in my computer (for example, installing a program while playing games), and the lag remains permanently (even a reboot won't make it better) unless I repair-install the Windows.

Since I have a low-end computer:

  • Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.00 GHz, 512 MB of RAM

  • ATI RADEON 9550 AGP 256 MB

And the only way I used everytime to fix this problem is by repair-installing my Windows XP. So that I won't lose any data or installed programs.

But I believe there's a better and faster way to fix this without repair-installing the Windows.

Any idea?

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Do you have any idea, what the computer is doing in this freezes? E.g. do you have a hard disk light that blinks in this time or a network connection light that blinks? – Thomas Jan 2 '10 at 12:27

with modern applications, 512 MB RAM is really the bare minimum, upgrade your system memory, RAM is cheap, 1 GB with XP is the minimum recommended these days, your board should be able to take 2 GB (check with the Memory Advisor tool at

weed out you startup routine with Autoruns.

at you will find comprehensive service tweak guides.

last but not least, after the next 'fresh installation', create a drive image (i recommend EASEUES Drive Copy). applying a 'clean' drive image of a pristine system is only a matter of minutes.

p.s.: extracting archives is one of the most demanding tasks. no surprise that it will bring your old system to it's knees while you're playing a 'full 3D online game".

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Use Game booster

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