Toshiba laptop 400Mhz/128mb/10GB. W98SE stopped loading so I reformatted the hard drive and reinstalled W98 and it seemed OK. I have now installed XP Pro/SP2 and updates (it took some hours) and XP then loaded OK a few times but now it takes 7 to 8 minutes to start up with continuous disk activity which sounds like retries - there do not appear to be any other processes loading other than AVG anti-virus. Is there any way I can check if the hard drive or the controller is failing - I don't think any bad sectors have been reported.
As Diodorus Siculus said - it'll be painful with that specification. - You can make things a bit better by going to Control Panel - System - choose the Advanced tab - and the Performance section - change to best performance settings.
Also put XP performance tweaks into a Google search, and check some of the top sites.