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Long app startup delays

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Long app startup delays

adams
I'm running Home Premium x64 on a self-built system with 4 GB RAM, an Nvidia 8500GT and a 2.3 GHz Athlon 64x2 4400+ Brisbane on a Gigabyte M57SLI-S4 mobo. For a while everything went great and the machine really screamed, but recently it's developed a lag when loading apps. It could be anything I try to open, no specific programs.
When I open [whatever], there's often a delay of up to a minute before the app displays. The little blue-green "loading" ring will appear for a few seconds as always, then disappear but the app isn't there for a while. Anyone have any ideas on that?