XP takes forever to boot, Then it takes a long time to access files.
There are a number of issues:
But the main ones, seem to be Drivers (confirm up to date)
Temp files (I usually recommend CCleaner)
Fragmentation (ie do a Defrag)
Memory (I feel 512Meg is too low these days, yours- unknown)
Hard Drive issues (Drive Diagnostic tools are good to test this)
Windows corruption (Sometimes requires Repair)
Or usually Virus/Malware
Have a look at:
New Preliminary Removal Instructions
Additionally, you are describing too many processes on Startup. Everything that starts on boot runs in the background. This will make the boot time take longer and slow your internet movement down.
The only processes that need to start on boot are the antivirus program, firewall, touchpad for laptop and network process if on network. Some security suites are set to scan on boot- this can also slow the process down. Unnecessary processes can be stopped by unchecking them on the Startup Tab:
Start> Run> type in 'msconfig' without the quotes> enter> Selective Startup> Startup tab> uncheck the unnecessary processes> Apply> OK> Reboot.
A nag message will come up which you can close after checking 'don't show this message again'. You must stay in Selective Startup to retain the changes.
See if this makes a difference.
I Will do as you said and let you know.