something's chewing up your cpu. could be malware, could be something misconfigured.
but considering the age of your pc, i suggest you go through your installed programs and delete everything you don't use and then go through you startup programs (using msconfig) and disable anything you don't use. if you find you need it (something stops working), re-enable it.
but the best thing to do is to do a reinstall of xp (assuming you have the install discs and 3-4 hours to spend). the pc will run like new again.
I have a Compaq destop with Windows XP Media center 2005, Athlon 3700, 2GB ram, 250GB hdd, intergrated video. Until very recently, it has been a great computer for us.
Lately, it has slowed down to a crawl. Even the fish screen saver refuses to move. It's just miserable!
I checked task manager performance and the cpu is running at 100% almost all the time. When I switch to the apps tab, there are no apps running! When I checked services from task manager, I found a line called svchost.exe using 99 percent of the cpu. I'm afraid to do anything with this because it's beyond my scope of knowledge. Is this my problem, or is there something else going on? Sure would appreciate any help to get our "baby" back to its normal performance.