sign of malware infection so checking & removing that is first priority.
After that get CCleaner Slim (no toolbar)free as mentioned, & run to clear backlog of temp files, index dat etc. If badly jammed make take 10 mins to finish future runs (daily) take about 5 seconds. I would NOT use the reg. cleaner function only cleaning for now.
CC Home: http://www.ccleaner.com/
CC Slim dwnld: http://www.ccleaner.com/download/builds
Start/Run applications (all those down by the clock):
Everybody thinks their program should be running in the background all the time...Bull Feathers!!! You want minimum at start up and ring up others as needed manually! Depending on OS & whether desktop or laptop. you can remove many of them from boot up via "msconfig".
Look in the start-up tab and uncheck those 3rd party programs that you don't use constantly. How you do depends on OS somewhat but General tab look for start in
diagnostic mode to enable the changes. You can recheck if need be.
On my desktop machine, my bar shows Clock, LAN internet connection live, AVIRA A/V active & volume control. That's It!!! My Laptops show a few more items (some manuf. installed items that I don't know for sure what they do since they're proprietary secrets). Generally laptops need more running than desktops.
Wherever possible go into programs and change from scheduled update check to manual update & do as needed per program. Some think you need to check every 5 minutes!! More BF! AV 1 time per day at beginning of day,
some other on demand scanners daily or every couple of days. This forum lists all major players updates the day they come out so you can check here to see what needs be done.
3RD Party (Google/Yahoo/Ask/Jeeves/etc.)toolbars:
Dump 'em is general rule of thumb. They can really slow browsing and often act as spy/tracking wares. Newer Browsers usually have them listed as add-ons and you disable them from the browser bar help or tools etc.
In older, often listed in add/delete programs in Control Panel.
Be sure you have only 1 AV running at any time same for other anti-malware that have background real time protection (usually only pay versions) running that may cause conflicts and really slow down your machine. Only 1 software firewall!! May also have 1 hardware (router)
Check out Black Viper's new site for tips on start-up items that are needed or not under XP or Vista:
You should be able to get XP boot-up down to 45 seconds (+/-) & Vista about double that? Those times indicate
likely optimal reduction of start up items.