Working on a Toshiba Satellite A205-S4617, using Windows Vista Home Premium.
It started out with hangtime -- a lot of hangtime. With anything that put a little stress on the system: music, games, movies were all useless to me now. Even web browsing was a chore, with a 15-second hangtime for each web page opened -- sometimes twice (much worse on the graphics-heavy sites). The system was also extremely slow retrieving files on the hard disk. I didn't know what to do for several months until I narrowed the cause down to the Windows Update Error 80070426. Based on advice to other people with similar problems that I found here and other places, I took the following steps: I made sure my copy of Vista was re-authenticated, then I tried installing the updates again. No luck.
The next option was to restore my machine to the factory settings. This could be accomplished rather easily with the system restore disk that came with the computer. Except that during my last move, the wife thought the computer box would make nice storage for drinking glasses, and promptly emptied the contents of the box. That stuff has not been seen or heard from since. Whenever I describe my computer woes to somebody and they ask why I don't just restore it with the backup disk, I just give the wife a hard stare and shake my head a little, saying nothing.
So anyway, I backed up all my stuff, and fired up the system restore (F8 repeatedly on startup). The factory settings were not an option. The earliest restore point was February of this year. I tried it, and was denied. In fact, the only restore points that worked were ones after I started having problems. I tried it anyway, and lo an behold, it actually worked! I could actually listen to music, watch movies, and play games I had paid money for! I was so excited! All the Windows updates were flowing like a great river, I couldn't have been happier.
This was Monday. Tuesday was a different story.
On Tuesday, Windows Update happily informed me that it had downloaded Service Pack 1 and that I would have to restart the computer to install it. "OK," says I, and press the restart button. The thing said it would take up to an hour, so I didn't worry about how slow it was going. Step 1 took a while, followed by step 2, and finally step three seemed to be moving along. At about the hour and a half mark, it hung at 74% of step three (of three). I had a book ready (Death By Hollywood, Stephen Bochco, decent book), and I was prepared to wait it out, but two hours later the screen still said "Step 3: 74%." Finally, Windows started up. I figured it had gone through. So I continued with my life. Then the machine inexplicably shut everything down and restarted, only this time to say "Service Pack did not install. Reverting changes. Do not turn off computer." I sighed and picked up my book again (By this time, I'd moved on to Dan Brown's Angel's and Demons). Three hours later, windows finally started, but the hangtime was back, even worse than before.
After some research, it looks like this service pack thing is universally regarded as retarded, but hey, it wasn't my choice to install it.
I tried some stuff and restarted again, only to have the same "Service pack did not install" message for three hours. Thing is, Windows Update says the service pack installed successfully, even though the computer spent about six hours telling me otherwise.
I tried system restore again, but this time there was only one restore point available: at the time of the service pack installation. Didn't work.
So here I am. I've tried everything I can think of. I'm at my wit's end. This is my last step before taking it to a professional, and if fixing this costs anything close to the cheapest laptops available, this machine is useless to me.
There's also a bunch of crap going on with Superfetch and spoolsv, but I don't know if that's related.
If anyone can help me here, it would be much appreciated, because all I have right now is a frisbee. A damn thousand-dollar frisbee.