Instructables
Picture of Make your computer run like new for free
I got my laptop 2 years ago when I first got it it was blazing fast eventually it got to be slower than a snail then I discovered these tips that saved me from having to wipe my hard drive!!!

 
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Step 1: REMOVE

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REMOVE
Go to Set Program and Access and Defaults go to Change or Remove Programs take out unused freeware, toolbars, and things that are marked use rarely.

Step 2: CClearner

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CCleaner is amazing free ware that will get rid of temporary internet files and junk, and also fix all registry errors that alone will make your computer much faster!!!
Click here to download CCleaner

Step 3: DEFRAGMENT

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After run CCleaner goto Control Panel>Performance and Maintenance now click the option that starts with rearrange that will be disk defragmenter now click defragment.

Step 4: Done!

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Now you've got a computer that run as good as new=) Check out my website in progress
cpuhelp.weebly.com to check out more tips and trick.
eliwilson2 years ago
Great advice! I too am a network consultant and agree that these are the best things to do to make your computer run like new again. Thanks for putting this together!
DeanGPotts3 years ago
I cant believe how big the red bar is in that image!! did defragmenting manage to clean the damage?
If you want to find a more expanded version, I've been working on my guide for a few years, and it's at it's final release. This is much more in depth, take a look: http://www.instructables.com/id/Several-Easy-Steps-to-Boost-Your-Computers-Speed/
kidmosey4 years ago
By default, I think Vista and Windows 7 are scheduled to defrag automatically.

You should also check out StartupCPL (not msconfig, as that is designed as a diagnostic tool).  Removing unused startup processes is the best/fastest way to get significant speedups.

In addition, I would recommend [Start->Run->"services.msc"] - Disable services you know you'll never need, and switch the services you will rarely use to "Manual".

I do not recommend disabling automatic updates, though.  I've serviced several computers that were fixed by simply running windows update - that's $150 someone could have saved.

CCleaner is the greatest tool since the bread slicer. I am a network consultant. I run it on almost every computer I touch. The first image here is the settings I recommend. There is no good reason to delete cookies, history, recent docs. The only reason to dump them are if you are having severe problems. Try my settings first, then if you need to go further, then dump the rest.

Don't forget to run the Registry clean up too. There are some better registry cleanup tools, but not many. They also charge for their software. 

@kidmosey is correct. msconfig is only a diag tool. It really annoys me when I see a previous tech has used it to disable startups and left the job incomplete. In tools on CCleaner there are two very useful tools.

The first is the Uninstall tool. It tells you a lot more about the application and where it came from than the windows version. Also, there is the option to delete entries that got removed but did not clear from the list. That will slow things down a bit if windows is looking for something that should be there but isn't. 

The second is the Startup tool. There you can disable and/or remove items that you don't use or want running all the time. Again, the path included helps to tell a lot about what the app does.

The tool I recommend that is a pay after 30 day trial is System Mechanic Pro. (NOT Registry Mechanic) http://www.iolo.com/system-mechanic/pro/download.aspx It does a much more thourough job and will help prevent some of the nasty new Fake AV crap

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rickharris4 years ago
You can go back and edit your instructable.
Kozz4 years ago
As for defragmenting, I'd like to offer a suggestion: try UltraDefrag (http://ultradefrag.sourceforge.net). It's got options to allow you to select and defrag multiple drives at once, and also has an "optimize" feature which consolidates your free spaced. Additionally, it can be set up to run at boot time. Alternatively, I've also used JkDefrag which has Windows scheduling options (run nightly at 3am if you want).
Shadowhunter111 (author) 4 years ago
meant to say run