Is your computer running slower than it used to, and you're certain you don't have a virus? There can be a lot of common problems behind this. My previous XP article discussed reducing the number of startup programs on your computer; this article will cover a few of the more common issues, such as Some of the effects that slow your PC are:
1–Oddly enough, your own desktop wallpaper can be the culprit. A blank wallpaper will work the best for speed, if not aesthetics. Right-click on the desktop, click the Wallpaper bar and choose this option.
2–Movement or sounds when starting up your computer will also only slow your PC even more–even the startup/shutdown sounds. Removing the unnecessary sounds is another way to speed up your computer. Use the control panel to accomplish this.
3–Also, try getting rid of extraneous shortcuts on your desktop. Removing these will cut down on the startup time of XP. Unlike the programs themselves, the shortcuts are unwanted and safe to remove. Successfully removing the shortcut will give you the following message: "Are you sure you want to delete this shortcut?" This will let you know you're deleting the shortcut and not the program.
4–You may have added too many extensions to your browser (this is especially common in Firefox, where installing addons is so easy.) They add up and slow down your computer's speed, so removing the unnecessary ones will help you give it a boost.
5–For some reason, MS images can end up all over your computer, taking up space you could use and slowing you down. Try to organize your photos, keeping the ones you want and getting rid of the others.
6–Use the built-in search option to look for files you don't want. XP lets you search for files by their type; such as all photos with .gif extensions. You can find all the .gif files on your computer, and remove all the unwanted image files. You can do the same for almost any file type, including sounds and written documents. Just make sure you aren't removing files you need; if you find yourself in doubt, it's better to leave that file alone.
7–One overlooked reason for a slow computer can be simply too many bookmarks in your browser's file, along with the browsing history and cookies. With the "tools" section of the browser you can control these problems and delete any unneeded information. Doing this once a week should help keep your speed maximized.
These seven tips are only meant to improve your computer's performance if you have no virus. Don't use them if you think your PC might be infected, and try to get some anti-virus software ASAP.