I have avoided installing Windows XP SP3 because of the numerous complaints that it slows down computers. However, since July 13, Microsoft will not support any important security and other updates without SP3. So I installed it and, indeed, it slowed the computer significantly, especially during startup. I have searched diligently for an explanation and a fix to no avail. It appears that Microsoft is in denial about this. Prior to the install, my system was running perfectly and speedily.
There are a number of services that can be turned off in a Windows XP SP3 system that some claim to have success in it speeding up their system.
Among them are Alerter, Application Layer Gateway Service, ClipBook, Automatic Updates and Background Intelligent Transfer Service.
The last two mentioned enable automatic updating, and I don't recommend turning these off.
These are just a few and many of them need to be looked at in the context of your particular PC. Search Google for "unnecessary Windows XP services" and browse through and see if anything you find makes sense for your system.
I also recommend checking for updated hardware drivers for your motherboard and other hardware peripheral and make sure they are at least up-to-date for Windows XP. To get to your system services: Control Panel/System Performance/Administrative tools/ Services, or Start Run type services.msc and click OK.
I use Microsoft Security Essentials, and it updates its software about every day, starting when it wants to. I have no control of that. Is there some way to have it update in the background? It takes forever and prevents you from running anything else until it's done.
It sounds as if the actual scan is what's slowing you down, not the update that runs in the background every day (you don't want to change this unless you want to manually run it between scheduled updates).
You can, however, control when the scan runs.
Open the Security Essentials user interface (click on the Security Essentials icon and select Open, or click start, Programs, Microsoft Security Essentials). Click the Settings tab and then click the Scheduled Scan link in the left column. That is where you can set the time that you want to run the scan (or not run it at all, but that is not recommended). Select a date and time when the computer is on but not being used.
Send your questions to [email protected] or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.