My computer is running painfully slow. What can I do?

When Windows slows down to an unbearable crawl, there's a good possibility that one particular process is at fault--sometimes taking close to 100-percent of the CPU's capabilities. In such a case, it's best to kill the process.
A process is a program or an independent piece of a program. As I write this, I have three applications, but 84 processes, running on my computer.
If the problem keeps occurring, it's best to find out what that process is about and stop it from loading altogether. To check your processes, right-click the taskbar and select "Task Manager." Click the "Processes" tab, then the "CPU" column heading. That will put the culprit at the top of the list.
To kill a process, select it and click "End Process." In the resulting, this-is-really-scary dialog box, click "End Process" again. Some program may close down or freeze up, but you'll have your computer back.
If the problem keeps reoccurring, you need to learn more about the process. Visit Process Library to see if it can help you learn more about the process in question. Don't use the sites' options for scanning your drive; just enter the process' name in the Search field. Once you've identified what is launching the resource hog, check to see if there's an update or bug fix that addresses the problem. If there isn't, consider switching to a competitor.