No, it had nothing to do with a cluttered desktop, Robert. Two different times, two fairly respectable computer whizzes told me that when files/folders are NOT started thru the C: drive that when you do any computer process the processor goes thru the files/folders on the desktop.
They suggested that by starting the files/folders from the C: drive and only putting shortcuts on the desktop, the processor doesn't have to go thru the long cycle.
Well something must be lost in translation then. The "C: drive" is just the default windows drive letter for the primary hard drive. While things could be slower if, say, run from an optical drive that is slower than a hard drive the desktop itself is also stored on the same drive by default.
My C: drive shows that I have 69% free disk space left, so it's not like it's loaded down with files/folders. What else could it be that makes it slow?
"Slow" can mean a lot of things. So you'd have to be more specific and investigate further.
Typically, what causes performance issues on a computer are bottlenecks in CPU or RAM (in most modern computers the bottleneck is RAM). If you right click your task bar and select "task manager" you will be able to see what is using those system resources (on the processes tab sort by memory and cpu to see what is hogging each).
You may find a program using too much memory (right now my browser is hogging memory for example, and restarting it would make my computer run faster if the RAM were at its limit) or you may find too many background processes are running.
Now the next most common performance issue is an I/O bottleneck on the drive and the most common end-user scenario for that is that your files are fragmented and the disk needs to look in thousands of locations for a single file at times.
You can check/fix this by going to:
All programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter
There are many other problems that could be causing this, ranging from configurations that can be tweaked to make things faster but you'd have to be more specific about the slowness you see and rule out those basic problems for me to help you remotely.