|Tell us the make and model of your brand name system, or if you have a generic desktop system, the make and model of the mboard. |
The specific model of a brand name system is shown on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, or it can often be determined by going to the brand name's web site and loading a program they have available, if Windows is still working, on the subject computer.
For Dell computers, they have a Service Tag number - the specific model can be determined by using that on their site, or can often be determined there automatically by you downloading some software, if Windows is still working, on the subject computer. The Service Tag number should be on a label on the outside of the case, probably on the bottom on a laptop, on the back on a desktop, and is often also shown in the bios Setup.
The model, sometimes the make, of a mboard in a generic desktop system is usually printed on the mboard's surface in obvious larger characters, often between the slots.
What is the manufacturer and part numbers of the ram module(s) ?
XP doesn't have the drivers built in for most things that first came out after XP was first released, circa 2001, and it doesn't have some of the drivers built in for things made before that.
If you haven't loaded the main chipset drivers for the mboard, your system is probably not running your hard drive(s) and optical drive(s) as fast as they are capable of running.
Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.
Lots of things can bog down and freeze Windows.
Usually that's caused by software problems, but sometimes that's caused by the overheating of the cpu. If the problems do not occur when the computer is relatively cool, such as after it has been started up after it has had a chance to cool to room temp, and only happen after the computer has warmed up, such as after it has been running for a half hour, then check the temp of the cpu in the bios Setup when you are having problems or right after the computer freezes.
The most common cause of the cpu overheating on a desktop computer is the cpu fan and the heat sink it cools have too much "mung" on them - accumulated dust, lint, etc. If you have that, clean it off, but DO NOT use a vacuum cleaner to do that.
E.g. Use a small brush, or canned air or gas meant for that purpose, or blow it off with compressed air if you can have access to an air compressor.
"Only very few essential programs were installed, but this did include the firewall/virus checker, BitDefender. This I know will contribute to a decrease in speed, but is really unavoidable."
All anti-malware software that has one or more resident module(s) - a part that runs all the time checking for suspicious activity - slows down Windows, but some has a lot less impact on performance than others.
E.g. the free version of AVG 2011 slows down Windows a lot less than many other anti-malware programs.
You DO NOT need to buy a "paid" version of anti-malware software these days, and no one anti-malware program protects you against everything.
If you connect to the internet through a router or a combo router / high speed modem, the router always has a built in "hardware" firewall that's protecting your connection, and most people DO NOT need to use a third party software firewall as well. The software firewall's resident module(s) also slows down Windows, more than the firewall that's built into Windows .