Don't lose any sleep ..........the win XP defreg is sufficent, its a bit like being low on petrol in the desert and having to worry about putting filling up on an unknown brand, or do I run out ! if your hard disk is
90% full then defrag every week, if not probaly once a month is sufficent............
slow running /connections, its probaly the servers you are connecting to ie, trade 2 win website,or your ISP,has been slow at this time, nothing you can do about it, it will clear, its all part of the high tech business, great when it goes well, but bo**cks when it doesn't, and you can't do a damn thing about it except wait !
My advice is:
1 set up your disk to have at least 3 partitions
1 for Windows (up to 7MB
2 for RT programs and data
3. for all else.
That way Windows does not spread your RT data all over the disk and you can defrag 1+2 quickly cos 3 is unlikely to take much defragging.
Mine is set upo like that and 3 requires defragging once/month the other 2 twice per week. and I also have Windows use Page files in 2 and 3 with a FIXED range so it does not keep expanding and conttracting them and messing up the disk even more. XP will not defrag Page files but I started with them set to zero, defragged the entire disk and then set them up again.
The other advantage of separate partition is that if you do get a virus or an aberrant program it is unlikely to infect 2 and 3..
Even though I used to defrag my hard drive on a regular basis I had a number of reliability problems. Anyway I got diskeeper and I have had no problems since and I like the fact you can set it to automatically defrag in the background.