V5 problem?

Recording mode

I suspect it may be my XP laptop, 496 RAM computer that has noticeably slowed of late thats the problem. Now the only mode I can record in is 2 mono tracks. I use to be able to record with no problems in stereo or mono but the program crashes straight away now. My registry cleaner program (Registry Mechanic) indicates a high RAM useage with only about 30% of free resources.
If I record 3 or 4 tracks I get bad latency on the 3rd or 4th track.
Is there a program that I can get to turn off those RAM gobbling monsters and put them sheep back in the paddock where they belong to do the work?

Turn off all background programs running, Virus scan, etc, etc.

Defrag the hard drive.

You can run the DPC Latency checker to see how well the laptop streams audio too.

DPC Latency Checker

It will tell you if any problems are encountered with hardware devices. On the bottom of the page is instructions on how to fix.

How much space it left on the hard drive? Defragging the hard drive could make a huge difference, but if the drive is getting even partially filled it could slow down a lot when trying to stream into it (streaming can be a bit harder on the drive - susceptible to issues - than typical read/write access which happens in bursts). There’s a lot of little reasons hard drive space slowly leaks away over time,and not many good solutions to the problem.

Delete all temp files before defragging, and not just browser temp files.

Sometimes the hard drive will be getting slow simply because it’s getting worn and may be getting ready to take a long needed nap.

Thanks Yas for the latency checker which Ive downloaded.
Everytime I run defrag it tells me its not necessary to do. Should I just run it anyway? I still have about half the 40gig HD free.
I regularly use disk cleanup to get rid of surplus files or is there more that is needed?
Ive turned off all the toolbar shortcuts to speed up startup as well.

Windows will report defrag not needed most of the time, defrag anyway, I do once a week. Run disc clean-up before hand also.

It’s the same when running an IRQ check, Windows will tell you no problems, but having a soundcard on the same IRQ with anything else is bad news for streaming audio/multi-tracking.