Why is Ubuntu 12.04 taking very long to start and run programs?

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http://askubuntu.com – I have a Toshiba laptop with 2.8 gb of ram, 1.87x2 GHz processor, and Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit on it as a partition installed with wubi. It takes 5-10 mins to start up, and opening any program (such as Chromium, Chrome, Skype, Firefox, Thundermail, etc) takes over half a minute. I stopped using Unity because my graphic card couldn't handle it and swapped over to Cinnamon. It's a little better, but everything is still really really slow. Any suggestions/solutions? (HowTos)