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Hey there!

I've been attempting to get my girlfriend's computer back up to speed. It's about three years old now, running XP with SP2, and, for whatever reason, is slow as all hell. There's few running processes, each of which only using around 5-6% of the CPU, yet at most any moment, the CPU useage is always up to near 100%. Firefox and AIM slow things down considerably for some reason, as well.

I've tried various anti-spyware products, Ad-Aware and Hijackthis, but nothing abnormal that I can tell surfaces there. Antivirus comes up empty... and when I boot the thing into safe mode, it runs quickly and without problems. Anyone have any idea what I could try doing? Thanks!

~ Matt
 

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The fact that it boots fast in Safe Mode makes me think you have a lot of startup programs running. Go to Start > Run and type "msconfig" w/o the quotes. Go to the STARTUP tab. You will see programs listed there with checkboxes. To give you an idea, you should probably have at most 5 boxes checked. If you have more than 5 boxes checked post here with the names of the programs that are checked or upload a screenshot and I'll help you determine which programs arn't needed at startup.

BMR777
 

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What anti viruses did you use??
 

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Pull up the task manager (ctrl + alt+ esc) and tell us which process is using the majority of the CPU.
 
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