hello. was wondering if someone can help me with this. computer, laptop: windows xp pro sp1 all HP updates Pent. 4 HT 3.02 ghz. 1 gig ram pc2700 128 meg video 80 gig hard drive 250 gig hard drive, usb 2.0 dvd/cd burner dvd burner, usb everything comes to a crawl, big time! i check task manager and explorer.exe will be taking up like anywhere from 50-60% CPU. seems like a huge amount to tax the cpu for a pent4 ht 3.02 to me. i have run and updated AVG antivirus, clean. i have run and updated ad-aware 6.0, clean. norton internet 2003, fine and clean. registry mechanic, norton cleansweep, defraged using speeddisk, tried defrag using windows, tried defrag using sys. mechanic, windoctor, everything seems fine, all my programs tell me everything is cool. but once explorer.exe acts up this thing runs slower than my gateway with pent cel. 433 meghz 128 ram! literally, slower than my 6 yrs old computers. i have two cooling fans underneath the laptop. i have the laptop proped up for more circulation. explorer.exe hits like 50-60% the fans go crazy and dont stop. it get to the point i have to pull the battery and unplug it for lack of response. only thing i added the same day i noticed the slow down was the 250 gig usb hard drive. doesnt seem to happen with any particular program. usualy im just running oper or ie, outlook, trillian, avg, media player, a pop-up stopper. checked msconfig/start-up. everything seems fine, i know what everything listed is. also, a few days ago, maybe 4-5, everytime i reboot my computer tells me new updates are ready to install (auto-update is on) no, i cant do a system restore, i turned it off. so yell at me all you want and get it out of the way. i prob. deserve it (now that i have a 250 for storage i can turn it back on) any ideas? i am about ready to format.