Operating system running slow, no spyware, malware, virus found.

Can't figure out why the OS is running slow, nothing seems to be eating up the memory.  I ran hijackthis, windows defender, spybot, and a few other programs removed what I found but the OS is still running slow.  Any ideas?
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AAckleyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
First... 248MB of Ram is not much for an XP system.  

Second, if you've had this PC for a while what happens over time is the driver cache becomes filled with orphan fragments and other program files.  Windows tries to be nice by pre-loading software for you to help it appear quicker.  Over time, you've opened and closed a lot of different programs.  Windows tries to pre-load every one of these for you when windows boots.  This takes up a lot of boot time and memory after boot time without showing any processor time or proccesses running.

It is safe to delete the contents of driver cache and reboot.  This will cause a longer boot the first time through while Windows refinds the system files that it needs to run but will also get rid of all the old stuff that the system was pre-loading for you.

You didn't mention what processor speed you have, available memory, etc.
Without knowing that, my first suggestions would be to run checkdisk
Press START, RUN type CMD and in console type:
(where C: is disk drive you want to check...)
/F Fixes errors on the disk.
/X Forces the volume to dismount first if necessary.
You will need your XP cd if errors are encountered.
I would also suggest that you might need to defrag.
Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disk Defragmenter
Check your Processes:
Open up Task Manager
Select the Processes tab
Click Memory Usage
Take note of which processes are using the most RAM.
rinnejAuthor Commented:
P4 2.5ghz, 248mb RAM
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rinnejAuthor Commented:
The computer is an HP, not sure what the model number is.
Process Explorer for Windows v10.21

Closely monitor what is using your CPU, and play with the reporting in the app, as to whats displayed. When you find something eating assive amounts of CPU time, then double click it to view further information. Post back any thoughts.....
rinnejAuthor Commented:
System Idle Process is using 95+ of the cpu.
Everything else looks normal.
Ok, then check inside the PC for clogged Fans, Fan temperatures etc...May be a heat issue Also, take a look for any bad Capacitors, to indicate failing hardware.

For examples, http://www.badcaps.net
rinnejAuthor Commented:
The capacitors were ok, and the fans were dirty but weren't clogged.
rinnejAuthor Commented:
The cpu is about 32 degrees celcius.  Don't know if that helps
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