To maintain any PC over its lifetime requires some scheduled maintenance to optimize the performance as more and more applications and devices are installed, which are vying for your valuable memory & CPU resources.
One approach to take to repairs would be to boost the hardware configuration by adding more memory, more hard drive space or in the extreme case upgrade the CPUs. This approach does not however remedy the underlying issue of what is causing the machine to perform badly. The simpler approach is to give your PC a spring clean using one of the free software applications specifically designed to repair applications/registry keys and clean out old unused files from your hard drive.
The following tools are freeware utilities that have proven themselves to be effective for the thousands (and sometimes millions) of users that already use them. As you will see from the descriptions, each application incorporates a variety of functional areas – registry cleaning, application uninstall management, start-up device management, etc. All tools are available on download.cnet.com.
This tool is the most fully featured listed here with tools to backup & restore registry files, remove junk/legacy files from hard drives (to free up space) and reconfigure memory and modem/internet connection settings.
The additional security features provide the ability to shred files and web histories to within a government standard level.
CCleaner was one of the first applications to pull together a variety of PC maintenance functionality into one tool, and it is still looks & performs well even if it does lack the broad spectrum of tools that its competitors have.
From the simple tabbed interface any non-techie or tech savvy user can quickly use this product’s core features to back up and clean registry entries, wipe multiple hard drives of junk/unused/legacy files and clear out personal data that may be cached (in software such as browsers and spyware applications).
This free to try application provides enough variation in its user interface to make it suitable for non-techies and IT pros alike. Non-techies can use the One-Click Optimization tool that takes care of running a battery of features to speed up and clean up Windows.
For technical experts, and the curious, the tabbed interface can be used to execute individually some of the 20+ tools covering everything from registry fixes and file cleaning to configuration tweaks and security data shredding.
Auslogic’s Disk Defrag
One final task to be run after any PC maintenance software or uninstalling applications is a disk defragmentation. Microsoft’s own tool (in the Control Panel) can be used but it is noticeably slower than Auslogic’s Disk Defrag. This tool uses their proprietary algorithms to rapidly scan and refactor hard drives so that files may be more quickly accessed. Defragmenting large hard drives (including external drives) can take hours in some cases so using a faster tool in this instance should cut back on maintenance time.