So, after fighting with my laptop for the past couple of weeks, I finally decided to do a clean install of XP. I'm glad I did since now everything is running nice and speedy! It's a bit of a hassle having to re-install programs and copying documents back and forth, but after using this machine for gosh, it must be three years now, day after day, it was time to clean everything up. Sometimes Windows just needs to be freshened a bit! :)
I have Vista installing now on my desktop. Looking good so far. I'll update this when it's done.