Computer is frighteningly slow

September 7, 2011 at 13:28:24
Specs: Windows Vista, 3.00 GHz/4 GB
My computer, like most, has been gradually slowing down since the day I put it together and first booted it up. Recently, though, something interesting happened. I installed a brand new game a few days back, STALKER: Shadows of Chernobyl. The specs on my PC are superb, so playing this survival-horror FPS on max settings was just an absolute joy.

Then I turn my computer off for the evening and head to sleep.

Booting my baby up the next morning turned out to be a disaster, in that she wouldn't boot to the Vista welcome screen. Instead, she would remain indefinitely on the "loading" bar. Trying to boot in Safe-Mode yielded no results, though I noticed an interesting message to the effect of, "Your PC failed to start; to repair, insert OS CD." the third time around. So I went for it. Unfortunately, nothing happened, in terms of repairs. Luckily, the menu gave me the option to restore my system to an earlier point in time--and what a coincidence, there was a system restore point saved right before I'd installed the game!

Shaken by the experience, I decided to go through and clean my machine of any unused programs (after a lengthy period of waiting for her to boot; almost 5 minutes, as compared to her usual 40-ish seconds), as well as defrag the HDD and perform other routine maintenance. I felt pretty good about myself: by the end of it, I'd freed up half of my main drive (only 240/500 GB were occupied), so I expected performance to improve.

Instead, I find myself here, asking for assistance because running Vista in normal mode took 9 minutes and 17 seconds to boot up (I began timing out of boredom), and normal operations were impossible; simply OPENING A FOLDER took in the neighborhood of 39 seconds to over 2 minutes and 13 seconds. Curiously, while CPU usage never exceeded 10% even during the laggiest periods of usage, physical memory never dipped BELOW 85%. Not exactly sure how that's happening.

I'm currently running my PC in Safe Mode (boot time 3 mins 22 sec, average lag between peripheral input and actual execution 27 seconds), hoping to receive instructions as to how I might remedy this problem. CPU usage is stabilized at 2%, and physical memory is reading at 90%.

Motherboard: AMD AM2+ 790GX
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6000+ 3.00 GHz
RAM: 4 GB 1000 MHz
HDD: ST-3500-320-AS ATA Drive
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 5670

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September 7, 2011 at 15:43:41
Have you checked your running processes in the task manager to see if anything unusual is running?

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September 8, 2011 at 11:36:08
The processes all appear to be legitimate (i.e. nothing that I don't recognize). An interesting happened that I didn't notice last time, though (I actually stuck around while it booted in Safe Mode, as opposed to doing something else). As the display ran through a list of files it was loading, it suddenly stopped at something called "crcdisk.sys". It remained for at least two or three minutes, so I left, figuring it was just a particularly large boot file. Came back a half hour later, and was greeted by the login screen. What significance would this have, perchance?

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