Suddenly VERY slow running laptop

By Jalad
Jan 8, 2008
  1. Hi, any help would be much appreciated.

    I'm running a Dell Inspiron E1705 laptop with Windows XP SP2, Intel 2 GHz processor, and 1 GB RAM--usually clips along well with multiple tasks. But a couple days ago, the system began slowing dramatically (I'd have to wait 10 or 15 seconds for each letter to appear while trying to type an e-mail). It's odd, because the slowdown is not constant, but it might last 30 minutes (if I don't reboot), then things are normal for several minutes, and then it comes back. It seems to be happening more and more frequently and lasting longer today. And if I reboot, the slowdown resumes within a few minutes of Windows getting going.

    When I look at Windows Task Manager, the CPU is getting cranked to at or near 100% almost constantly during the slowdowns, but it doesn't appear to be one single program that is sucking up the CPU. It's several of the normally running programs that usually take only a few percent a piece of CPU but are now taking 30% or 40% or 60% for no apparent reason. And if I close those programs, then other processes start eating up the CPU instead, so that it stays pegged near 100%.

    I have Trend Micro PC-Cillin installed and up to date, and it's given no warnings. I also run WinPatrol. I'm presently trying to run an online Kaspersky's full scan, but because of the slowdown, it's creeping along super-slowly and may never finish (presently at 16% and has found nothing so far). And iexplore.exe, for instance, is now bouncing around on Task Manager between 50 and 70% of the CPU, when it normally takes 10% or so.

    I don't know if this is a manifestation of malware I picked up, or something wrong with the operating system or hardware.

    Thanks in advance for any ideas/suggestions.

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