I have a Dell Dimension 9150 with Pentium D 3GHz and 4 Gb RAM. Platform is XP Pro SP3
ZoneAlarm is my Firewall and AV
Opening most programs seems to DRAG.....but more surprising is Windows' simple Notepad and Calculator has taken up to and over 1 minute to load (it's ridiculous). Some other programs slow load doesn't alarm me like the simple programs. Even calendar has taken 1 minute. And this seems to happen fairly consistently....though, once it finally opens I can be working for 30 minutes or so and come back to open it and it opens fine.
Also, and possibly related...when the monitor/system goes into power saving mode (not hibernate) and I jiggle the mouse to come out of it, the desktop displays but no programs response for a good 15-45 seconds. It's like a mini-hang.
Where's a good place to start with what's making these programs drag and load so slow?