Computer is really slow
I want to know how to easily speed up my computer; it runs desperately slow. I am running Windows XP which is about two years old.
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The easiest and most profound way to make your system faster would be to first backup all your important data using an external hard drive, DVD or CD-ROM then move to re-installing Windows XP from scratch. To further enhance the totality of your reinstall simply format the hard drive using your Windows XP installations disks by deleting old partitions on your primary drive and recreating those same partitions. After deleting and recreating the partitions XP setup will ask you to format the new partition on the disk. You want to perform a full disk format as NTFS. After that simply move to installing the operating system as prompted. Finally, after the reinstall of Windows XP you can reinstall the programs you backed up and repopulate your important data into your fresh operating system installation.
On XP and previous versions of Windows libraries, file and drivers were prone to corruption which was always a big issue. Not to mention spyware, trojans and other nuances of those kinds which if left unchecked over time time tends to lead to system lag and processing power degradation.
I always use Acronis True Image to make an image of fresh operating system installs. For when I see my system speeds degrading, I simply backup my working data and reinstall the operating system from the 'fresh install mirror image'. This takes around 10-15 minutes. Once you get the routine in place and nailed down, you can do it was quickly as I have learned to do so over the last decade.
Good luck and have fun!
If you do not want to reinstall the OS there is various things you can do remove some of the cruft to speed it up.
Mark Russinovich has good examples of tracking down the sources of slow systems so it's a good place to start: