Windows XP/very slow computer

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Question
Hi Carl, pleased to "meet" you!

I have DSL with Verizon.
I have 5-year old and 10-year old computers. I use Firefox for the older computer, and Google Chrome for the newer one. The older computer is directly connected to the modem. The newer computer is connected to the older one with a Cisco router.
The 10-year old one uses Windows XP and Office Suite 2003. The 5-year old one uses Windows 7 and Office Suite 2013.
In recent months, I have seen the older computer produce slower response than the newer computer.
But today, out of nowhere (!) the reverse is true. The newer computer is excruciatingly slow! I tried rebooting, but it didn't help at all.
What can I do? Would it help if I moved the cable (that is inserted in one of four ports in the router) to another port?
I am very  troubled. The newer computer never showed this behavior before today.
I look forward to your reply.

Chris

Answer
Chris, Tis is an addition to my earlier answer. 2/2/15
I recently noticed my less then 5 year old Windows 7 desktop slowing down drastically to the point that programs did not run at all. I found the problem to be overheating of the quad processor chip on the mother board due to a dust layer blocking air flow to the processor heat sink. I removed the fan mounted on top of this heatsink and brushed/blew away the dust layer.
Then remounted the fan to the processor heatsink. That fixed the slow down problem.
If you are not comfortable removing the side panels of your computer and brushing/blowing out
the dust then take the computer to a shop for this service.
Carl

Perhaps a virus or other malware has slowed the computer down. Run the virus checker. Also try AntiMalwareBytes - free download. crl-alt-delete will list running programs; perhaps a new program is hogging processor time or memory.
Good Luck

Windows XP

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Carl Johnson

Expertise

I can answer most questions concerning Windows XP. I am very interested in helping others to keep their older computers running since they can perform well if properly maintained. I am not a software or systems expert but usually can help with program applications problems also.

Experience

I am an experienced computer user and an IBM retiree who specialized in computer hardware design and manufacture.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor and Masters degrees in electrical engineering.

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