run msconfig, and disable all programs except video cards, anti virus, and CRITICAL system files under the start up tab. Also, disable unnecessary services, and and eye candy that you could care less about. Defag and clean up hard disk(s). Run a registry defrag. Download and run pc decrapifier. If all else fails, reinstall windows.
Sound like a hardware prob... Try to add a mem, enable Ultra DMA, or clean the startup libraries...
Man, that's lazy. Its great to give advice to someone, but some of us here know where those options are and how to put in memory, others don't. Would be nice of you to explain how to do this for the less skilled.
Mem is also a dos command.
ColoradoGrl - Yes, more memory would speed up your Laptop. Do you have Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware and Firewall software?
Its possible its slow due to spyware/adware or your hard drive is getting full, not enough memory or you need to defragment your hard drive. It could also be because its 4 years old.