A couple weeks ago my computer suddenly started running very very slow. Some examples: 15 mins to boot up, 30 secs to open IE, 10-15 seconds to open a folder. The processor is an AMD 1900 running at 1.6 gighz. The computer is now always slow, not just sometimes. During the delays the processor nor hard drive are working. The computer just sits there, sometimes with an hour glass, and waits. Then, right before opening whatever I have selected, the hard drive and processor will work and the item will open. One oddity is that if I, say, open an MP3, it takes 20-30 seconds to open Winamp and start playing, but if I close Winamp and immedaitely open a different MP3, there is no delay, it is nearly instant, like it used to be. Doesn't matter if it is Word, IE or an MP3. If I have just opened it, 9 times out of 10 it will open the second time with no delay.
I figured it was a software thing, so I repaired Windows XP. No improvement.
I reinstalled Windows. No improvement.
I reformatted and reinstalled. No change.
I formatted a different Hard Disk and installed windows. No change.
The actual formatting took forever, somewhere around 60 hours. It was running slowly even in the installation shell.
I ran memtest86 for 6 hours and had 0 errors. I think it was running slowly too, it only got through 12 or 13 tests in 6 hours.
I don't know what else to try, I had made zero hardware changes prior to the slow down.
Anyone have any ideas what could cause a computer to suddenly slow down like this?