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Windows XP longer than usual loads

My computer last night started loading slowly. For example I have New STALKER game it usually takes 1 min to load a level now takes 8 minutes, it still does this after i did disk cleanup and defraged drive. I was going to do disc check tonight as it took over an hour just to complete 5% of phase 4(again runnng slow). I don't even know if that will help. I tried loading TF2 to see if it was just STALKER and it loaded unusually slowly too. I have no viruses as I've scanned my computer and it was clean. Boot up seems to take much longer as well between 4-5 minutes. I don't have programs to load on start up so that isn't the problem. It didn't gradually get worse it went from loading fast to 8x slower immediately.

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improvement

I did the DMA thing and cleaned the inside of the tower. I'm getting better load times, but still slow it takes about 4 minutes to load STALKER now as opposed to 8min, so i cut load times to about half, its booting faster as well so thanks. I'll run disc check tonight.

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