There is no reason why ME should not run perfectly reasonably.
One of the primary causes of problems such as yours, is Windows tendency to leave bits of entries in the registry, when they should have been cleared out many moons ago.
click here for a little program that was developed by Microsoft, (Regclean v4.1a) but is no longer supported. However, I use it regularly and it works just fine. There are other programs available, but many can (and do) cause severe problems, as they can be over zealous in removing items.
It will safely clean out your registry and write a backup just in case, although in nearly four years of use, I've never had cause to use the backup.
Try a clean out with this, and while your at it, clean out all your old temp files. The easiest way to do this, is go to; Start; Programs: Accessories: System Tools; Disk Cleanup; and then select the area's you want to clean.
Once that's complete, run Scandisc to finally verify all is as it should be.
I keep my system as clean as I can. I scandisk and defrag regularly, run norton anti virus until recently when I swapped to AVG, run adaware and spybot, stopped file sharing by the kids, etc but I still have start up and running prolbems regularly.