First of all, I have a Dell Dimension 4600 desktop with pentium 4 processor. 3 yrs old.
I think I have about a 70 GB hard drive and I have 30GB free. I have about 30GB of music taking up that space.
For the last two months, my computer has been VERY slow when I do anything on it. I found that in Task Manager explorer.exe is always running between 80-100%. Even when I have no applications running it does this. Also, my computer NEVER sleeps! I have it set to go to sleep mode after an hour and then hibernate after 1.5 hrs. It never does either. I have been in the room several times when it will sound like it shut down into sleep mode and then it somes back on like two seconds later!
I think I understand computers pretty well when it comes to basic things, so I went into msconfig and disabled a lot of startup programs that weren't necessary like Quicktime and Itunes and stuff like that because I thought that programs in the background were slowing it down. Basically all that runs at startup now is Norton Antivirus and Norton Internet security.
I also suspected that it could be a virus or adware/spyware. I have run NAV several times and no viruses. I've run it in safemode too. Also it found no viruses. For adware/spyware I've run Spybot, Lavasoft Adware SE personal, and Microsoft Antispyware Beta version. It found stuff and I got rid of it.
I also just defragmented my computer. I thought this would fix it, because it took 24hrs to defragment. I defragmented it again after it was done and the second time it only took 5 minutes. So it's definately defragmented now.
So, none of the stuff I've done has helped. I have talked with Dell help service twice and the stuff they told me to do didn't help either. They said it could be a problem with software.
Oh, yeah, I also ran my computer on a diagnostic starup through msconfig. It was great! The explorer.exe was running normal, and System Idle Process was using up the CPU as it should. However, I can't always run my computer in that mode because you can't do anything! No internet and such. So I don't know if that tells you anything about the problem.
I would love you help in this matter, it's so frustrating. My computer is practically useless. Me and my fiance are in grad school and depend on our computer!