I am a very experienced user of Windows (over 20 years using it and diagnosing problems) and I have a problem that has me stumped.
The system: Windows XP SP3, 500GB disc, 1.5 GB RAM. Pemtium 4, 2.66 GHz
The symptoms: if you run a program from the task bar, or desktop, the PC completely freezes for up to minute and the hard drive thrashes. Video is frozen like a freeze frame. This happens with Solitaire and even with clicking on the date/time on the task bar!! CPU utilisation is low (under 10%), the hard drive is fully defragged and is only 18months old so I don’t suspect hardware problems. I have 1.5 GB set as a swap file, but Task Manager shows that this is hardly ever used. After the program comes up, if you close it and try again, it comes up immediately. If you leave it for an hour of so then the same problem happens. The problem suddenly started about 3 weeks ago and before that performance was good. I cannot associate it with any change on the PC. I have not installed new software in ages
What I have done: purged temporary files, defragmented the hard disc, fixed registry as there were multiple errors report by AVG, scanned for malware using Malware Bytes, AVG and McAfee. Nothing detected. I have used msconfig to remove unnecessary daemons from loading at start up. Fixing the registry made the problem go away for a short time (may be coincidence) but now has come back despite AVG reporting no registry errors.
I am getting a new Win 7 machine shortly but I wanted to keep this old war horse as a backup and as a media server. I am loathed to do a complete rebuild to fix this problem. Can anyone suggest anything I haven’t tried?
Many thanks in advance for any ideas!