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How do I "Clean computer of garbage"?

by cpmdave-21209087916214755939752776832341 / December 4, 2008 10:05 AM PST

While browsing thru this excellent forum I came across a message from Jimc52 that included the phrase: "clean computer of garbage first". How do I do that?

I have a DELL DXP061 with Windows XP Home (SP2...I think)
I'm reading the note you have which says "include all your system info". Is there a place on my desktop that will give me the necessary info?

Thanks for this forum. It is an excellent source of good advice, supplied by (it appears to me) some very inteligent PC users.

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A Couple Of Suggestions
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 4, 2008 1:48 PM PST

After uninstalling all unneeded programs and scanning your computer for viruses and spyware...The "Tips" thread at the top of this forum is a good place to browse.. It provides these two gems that are right on target for you..

How To Clean Unwanted Files From The Hard Drive

For Windows 2000/XP, ignore the first couple of sentences about checking "resources" and the "Performance tab" in the link below but follow the rest of the procedures including the "Services" links at the bottom.

How To Shut Down Unnecessary Start Up Programs

Hope this helps.


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These may help...
by Willy / December 4, 2008 11:34 PM PST

If you want delete or rid of unwanted pgms. find a pgm. called, "decrappier". Goto its website and d/l it and use it. It will list pgms. to choose to rid of provided you don't want or need them. You can do this same process manually by the add/remove icon in control panel, one at a time.

You can finish this cleaning process by using a "registry cleaner". I have used "ccleaner" from its website. Use its default setting to get rid of areas to clean and then the registry cleaner for that use. I strongly suggest you use that default setting until you're familiar with whats being done, don't get too eager. Once done using all these process/pgms. will keep the system fresh. You should also use your anti-virus and malware pgms. to scan/check the system as well. Last, I found, PC Wizard 2008(google for it) to give details on you system, you can copy&paste results to notepad for refernce or posting.

tada -----Willy Happy

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by 2gtf / December 5, 2008 11:01 PM PST

i find that the free download version of Crap Cleaner does a good job(cccleaner) and System Mechcanic SYSTEM MECHANIC

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by blusmk / December 6, 2008 2:38 AM PST

Look in Add/Remove Programs and see how many versions of Java you have installed. Depending on how often you update your java, you could have close to a Gigabyte of wasted space. Install the latest version (Java 6 update 11 from and remove the rest. If you receive an error removing older versions, select Modify instead of remove. After it is done you can try Remove again.

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"Clean Computer of Garbage"
by anita7710 / December 6, 2008 3:14 AM PST

As someone who works with graphic programs intensively, I find that twice a year, the best thing to do is a complete reinstall of WinXP. It's not as hard as it sounds, but it's time-consuming. Things you will need to do first are:

1. Back up your personal files to an external hard drive. They are pretty cheap now and I find that if I keep all my files on the external and all my system files on the "C" drive, crashes aren't so dramatic when they happen. If you collect fonts, you may want to make sure you make a backup of all your fonts as well. Check all your folders!
2. Utilize the "Files & Settings Transfer" wizard. You can access this in WinXP by going to: Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Files & Settings Transfer.
3. Once in the program you want to save your current computer settings from your "Old Computer" to a folder on your external hard drive or to a disc.
4. Next, save "Settings Only". This will save your Favorites, Desktop Settings, your Outlook/Mail settings and contacts, and other settings you don't know about.
5. Once you have done this, make sure you have all your discs for your software and hardware: WinXP, Microsoft Office, printer, scanner, etc. If you don't have a high-speed internet connection, you will need to contact Microsoft and get WinXP SP1, SP2 and SP3 on a disc from them. It's good to have anyway as the downloads are REALLY time-consuming. They'll send it to you for the cost of shipping.
6. Disconnect all your hardware except for your keyboard, speakers and monitor.
7. After you have done all these steps, you are ready to begin a fresh install of WinXP.
8. Insert your WinXP disc, and then turn off your computer.
9. Turn your computer back on while keeping your finger on the F12 key. As soon as you hear the first beep, start pressing the F12 key several times until you come to an options window.
10. Choose option #5 (start Windows from a CD).
11. You will then be asked if you want a "fresh install" or a "reinstall" of WinXP. Choose fresh install.
12. Then just folow the directions for a fresh install of WinXP.
13. After you have installed WinXP. Turn off your screensaver.
14. You are going to start getting all these pop-up balloons from Windows. Turn them off by editing your registry:
15. Go to Start>Run. Then enter "regedit" in the "open" window.
16. Go to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
17. Add the DWORD value 'EnableBaloonTips' and give it a value of '0'.
18. Plugin in your internet connection and update WinXP from Windows Update (or by disc if you don't have a high-speed connection). This will give you all your security and usually your driver updates. Make sure to read all updates, there are several that may not apply to you. If in doubt, don't install it. If it's something you need, Windows will let you know.
18. Next, you need to install your anti-virus program and update it.
19. Next, go to: Control Panel>Add or Remove Programs>Add/Remove Windows Components
20. Run through the menus and uncheck anything that you don't want installed. Do you really need the MSN Explorer? No. Under games, you may or may not want all of them on your computer. There's a lot of "extras" that you can eliminate.
21. Now, you need to install your hardware (printer, scanner, etc). Run Windows Update after you have installed them in case there is a new driver available.
22. Next, you need to install the drivers for your external hard drive, so you can access it.
23. Once you've accessed your external hard drive, go to the "Files & Settings Transfer Wizard".
24. You want to check "New Computer" this time and have the system files that you saved from the Wizard transferred back to your computer.
25. Now, go back to: Control Panel>System>Hardware>DeviceManager and check to see if there are any conflicts with your drivers. If there is, click on it and download the updated driver from the internet.
26. Also, if you have an Intel chip, check to see if "hyperthreading" has been activated on your computer. This enhances performance of your computer and allows two or more programs to run simultaneiously.
27. In the Device Manager window, click the plus (+) sign next to the processor type. If Hyper-Threading is enabled, the processor is listed twice. If not, you'll need to consult your computer manual on how to activate it.
28. Before installing your programs, run ScanDisk. Go to "My Computer" from the Explorer window, and Right Click on your "C" drive.
29. Click on Properties>Tools. Under "Error Checking" click on "Check Now."
30. Restart your computer and allow ScanDisk to run.
31. After you've run ScanDisk, defrag your hard drive by going to: Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management>Disk Defragmenter.
32. Click on your "C" drive and click on "Analyze". If you need to defragment your hard drive, click on "defragment" and let it run. Make sure you've turned off your screensaver, disconnected your internet connection, and disabled your anti-vrius program as these will slow down the process.
33. Once your hard drive has been defragmented, re-plug your internet connection and restart your computer. Your Anti-Virus program should automatically reactivate, but check to make sure.
34. Now you are ready to install your programs. I would advise running ScanDisk and Defrag again after you have installed your programs.
35. Don't forget to go to the website and download the latest versions of Acrobat Reader, Flash and Shockwave as these programs run most of the internet. You will also want to go to the website and download the latest version of Java for the same reason.

Doing a fresh install of your hard drive is complicated, but it can be done. If you make a mistake, you can start over again. I would advise doing this over the weekend as it can take upwards of 5-7 hours to do correctly. Don't attempt this unless you are sure you have a certified copy of WinXP along with the drivers for your computer, AND BE SURE TO BACK-UP ALL YOUR PERSONAL FILES BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANYTHING. I also make a list of everything I do as I do it, in case something goes wrong. It's also good to have as a reference when you decide to do it again.

Good luck!

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by Nightmares0nwax / December 6, 2008 6:21 PM PST

i dont think that was necessary.

add/remove programs, remove the programs you dont need
go through your hard drives and personal files and delete everything you dont want.
Wise Reg Cleaner only remove that which are marked safe. run this last, after you installed all your unwanted programs

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Another good program is .....
by geemayb / December 27, 2008 11:49 AM PST

Another good program that will get rid of "junk" is malwarebytes which is available for download free. It also does much more as it helped me get rid of the XP virus!

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by CascaLonginus / December 28, 2008 6:26 AM PST

This is one of the best programs for what your looking for, and it's free. Click the download now link, save to desktop.

When you clean the registry, and it asks if you want to back it up, click yes, and save, just in case it deletes something it shouldn't.

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