Help! System having "seizures"

Hey. Pardon my not knowing what is going on, and having to describe things in vague metaphors. I have an aging WinXP Pro SP3 system, Dell Inspiron E1505. It seems to be having "seizures" every 5 minutes or so, where all activity will grind to a near halt. This will last 2-3 minutes, and then slowly things return to normal, only to repeat again in a regular period. This seems to be happening no matter what I'm doing -- but especially when I'm doing something intensive, like major file operations (I was comparing some directories the other night and it was bad) or playing a game.

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5 minutes = clue.

I see XP do that years later if there is a printer or file share that is off line. I've yet to see a patch to cure that so disconnect from all printer and file shares and tell more.

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I think that helped.

Thanks. As soon as you mentioned a printer, I immediately felt like that must be the cause. I also have an aging HP all-in-one network printer that frequently drops off the network and has to be reset before anything can talk to it. HP's WinXP printer software, especially the "imaging monitor," has always given me a lot of trouble. I killed that, and things seemed to run a lot smoother. The "seizures" still occurred, but not as often, and also not as intensely. It could be some other things going on, too, basically amounting to that I just have too much loaded on here, but that printer may be the most significant issue.

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5 minutes was the biggest clue

Somewhere in the registry is the number 300 for the number of seconds that XP waits to check if shares are still there. It's an enduring windows annoyance and what I found was no real cure except to not connect to such shares to avoid this issue.

I think it's much better in Windows 7 but then again I am now on a very nice i5 CPU with 4 execution threads. If one thread hangs up, it's too likely I won't notice it.

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