strangly boot time has never been faster. but after about 1 minute after boot, the problem starts. at first, I thought the computer was locking up but I eventually realized it was slow load times. example: I try to open AOL IM, and I watch task manager for the memory usage of AIM as its' loading. I can watch it load about more ot less 20K/minute of this ( or any) application. It takes about 15-30 minutes to load it. When I reboot in safe mode, there is no slowness at all. I did an XP repair install and it worked fine the first session, and then I rebooted and it started again. after about 1 1/2 hours into this session it suddenly cleared up. Feeling confident, I went on install SP2 and reboot and the problem started again and did not recover after 1 1/2 hours like in the last session.
Over the previous week to the problem, before this started, my computer suddenly freezed up, about 4 times. I thought there was too much heat in the case, so I got it better ventilated and it stopped. Also the primary master started making some unusual clicking at the start of boot-up, but I rule this out since disk access is fast during bootup and in safe mode.
Although programs like IE take 1/2 hour or so to load, once they're loaded, they operate fine, with no slowdown.
The problem first started while I was in the middle of burning an audio CD.
Could this be a HD problem?
I'm going to mark this as Urgent because I work from home twice a week due to extremely long commute. That day it cleared up on it's own after 1 1/2 hours was just in time to start working and was lucky for me..