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System going a lot slower than it should be

Subject: System going a lot slower than it should be
Date: 14 May 2005 15:21:07 -0700
My system seems to be going a lot slower than it should be. When
playing games, Diablo II for example, it seems to play fine for a bit,
even hours, but then after a while, at random intervals, my FPS will
drop significantly, even when I'm not doing anything in the game. I
could be just sitting and watching my screen, with no significant
animations taking place, my FPS will drop from 30+ to about 10 or less
for maybe 5-6 seconds, then dart back up to the normal number. When
this happens, my HD LED does not flash, no massive disk swapping is
going on, nor do I get any indication that my system is busy doing
anything.. It just happens. And sometimes, when I close the game, it
takes near forever to refresh my desktop, as there is a lot of swapping
going on at the time. This only happens sometimes.

I rescently reformatted, and have made sure that there is nothing on
the computer that I do not need, nor is there any spyware/adware that I
can detect using Lavasoft's Ad-Aware SE. Before reformatting, I had
Windows XP with SP1, and now I am using SP2, with the exact same
results. I defragmented my hard drive several times, have run memory
tests, and the problem still persists.

Part of the problem seems to be memory swapping but it doesn't do that
very often when I am playing games. Some software, like firefox and
azureus use lots of resources, I know, but even when they're shut down,
I can have massive amounts of memory swapping... enough to make my
system near unusable.

As for my hardware, I have the following:
Dell Inspiron 1100
Pentium 4 2.2GHZ
256MB Ram
20GB internal drive, I assume 4800RPM, maybe 5400RPM.
Intel 82845G/GL Graphics Adapter

Any possible hardware problems? Like I said, I did a memtest, and
nothing came up wrong. And I can't see my HD being a problem, if it's
not doing anything drastic at the time, and especially when the game
runs fine for a bit then just starts acting very weird.

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