Step 2: Clean Windows (Cookies, Downloaded Files,
Temp Folders, Unzipped)
Windows lacks in cleaning itself up. Because of this, users have to
manually clean up Windows. The areas that need cleaning are the Cookies folder, Downloaded Program Files folder, Temp
folder, and the Temporary Internet Files (TIF) folder (Disk Cleanup does not delete cookies in the TIF folder).
To start cleaning windows, double click 'My Computer' > 'C Drive' >
'Documents and Settings' > Select the user to want to clean > open 'Cookies' > Select all the files and click Delete.
Now go back to your Windows folder. Find and open the 'Downloaded Program
Files' folder. Select all programs that you do not use, or programs that don't have valid names. Click the Delete
button or click 'File' > 'Delete'.
Again, go back to your windows folder, find and open the 'Temp' folder.
This folder contains any left over setup files from programs you have installed, but failed to delete. Select all the
files, including hidden ones (to unlock hidden files, click 'Tools' > 'Viewing Options' > make sure 'Show all files'
is selected) and delete them.
Back to the Windows folder again, find and open the 'Temporary Internet Files'
folder. Disk Cleanup does not delete cookies in this folder, so we have to manually delete them. Select all remaining
files and delete them by clicking the Delete button or 'File' > 'Delete'.
Now open your C Drive again. Find a folder called Temp. Open
it and delete all the items.
Again, in your C Drive, if you have WinZip, search for a folder called 'Unzipped'.
Delete all these files or move them to a folder if you wish to keep them. The contents of the unzipped folder contain
items that you unzipped using WinZip.
Step 3: Remove any unnecessary Programs/Windows
The major element contributing to unhealthy computers concerns how programs
are removed. It is imperative that you know YOU CANNOT DRAG AND DELETE PROGRAMS TO THE RECYCLE BIN.
To view all programs installed on your computer click 'Start' > 'Control
Panel' > 'Add/Remove Programs'. This will open a new window that will display any and all programs installed.
To delete a program, select it, and click the 'Remove' or 'Remove/Change'
button. Click Close, then OK, Yes, and OK to remove the program.
Now, select the 'More Options' tab. This will display all Windows components
installed. If you do not use some of these components, such as Address Book, or Desktop Themes, you can safely remove
them to regain disk space. Click the Check Box next to the component you want to remove. A Shaddowed box mens
some components are installed. Click Details and Clear the Check Box next to the subcomponent you want to remove.
Click Next, Finish, OK, Yes, and OK to finish the removal of all the components
you want to remove.
You can also regain valuable disk space by removing Restore Points that System
Restore creates when you backup your system. To remove these Points, click 'Start' > 'Control Panel' > 'Add/Remove
Programs'. On the More Options tab, under the System Restore section, click Disk Cleanup. Select Yes Remove all
but Most Recent Restore Point. Click OK, Yes, and OK.
Step 4: Scan Disk (for errors)
Windows has a built in component to check and correct any linking/shortcut/program
errors. By scanning your disk for errors once every two weeks and guarantee less 'blue screen errors' or 'illegal operation
If Scan Disk is not located in the System Tools folder, or you are using
the NTFS file system, you will need to run Scan Disk upon start up of Windows XP.
To do this, open My Computer, and right mouse click the drive you want to
scan. Select Properties. Now select the 'Tools' tab. In the Error Checking box, click 'Check Now'.
Now select both checkboxes in the new window and click start. If you get a message saying the volume cannot be checked,
would you like to check when Windows XP starts up, click YES.
Now, when you shutdown or restart, Scan Disk will automatically check files
and folders, and free space for errors.
Please keep in mind while Scan Disk is running, you cannot use your computer.
Scan Disk may take 30 minutes to 2 hours. It is best to run Scan Disk at night.
Step 5: Disk Defragmenter (improve speed,
regain disk space)
should run Disk Defragmenter after you have scanned your disk. Disk Defragmenter is a built in Windows utility that
relocates the data on your hard drive to one side. While it does this, it collects all program fragments and data and
bunches them together, thus improving the speed of your programs and increasing the amount of free space on your hard drive.
run Disk Defragmenter click 'Start' > 'All Programs' > 'Accessories' > 'System Tools' > 'Disk Defragmenter'.
Select the volume (drive) and then click 'Defragment'.
keep in mind while Disk Defragmenter is running, you cannot use your computer. Disk Defragmenter may take 30 minutes
to 2 hours. It is best to run Scan Disk at night.
Step 6: Windows Update