I have this older p3-600 which had one of those 4200 RPM drives, an PC-Card USB 2.0 card and an external drive. The external drive was faster.

I cured this machine by replacing the internal 11GB 4200RPM (slug) drive with a new 40GB 5400RPM drive. The result was spectacular. Boot time dropped from over 4 minutes to under 2 minutes (Windows 2000 Pro.) And the cost was all of 89 bucks. Great payback.