If you have had your computer for a while, things may start to seem slow, and you may get frequent crashing. However, with a few simple free tools, you can clean up your computer!
1. Check for Viruses
If your looking for a good free antivirus, I suggest AVG Anti-Virus. It's updated as much as the big boys, and it's wasy to use. Install it, update it, and scan your computer.
2. Check for Spyware
Spyware is a big issue today, so there are alot of free tools out on the 'net to clean spyware. I suggest Microsoft AntiSpyware. It's got the best bacground monitoring tools, and asks for your approval when something wants to be changed. Install it, and do a quick scan.
3. Clean Up Temp. Files and Dead Registry Links
There are alot of files that can be cleaned on your computer. I suggest Crap Cleaner. It can delete all that stuff that reamins pointless, and supports clearing of your tracks too. Install it, open it, check everything, and then hit the "Run Cleaner" button. Then head over to the "Issues" tab, hit "Scan for Issues", then "Fix Selected Issues...", backup if you want to, and then hit "Fix all Selected Issues". Do this several times, as there can be alot of useless registry junk.
4. Accelerate your boot time.
A great tool called Tune XP, will allow you to change certain key things in Windows that can slow down your computer. Install it, select your Windows drive (useally C, and under the "Memory and File System" menu select each option and change it to enable. Under "IO Page Lock Limit", select the one that is around the amount of RAM you have. After doing that, head to the "Hardware" menu, and enable UDMA-66. Then head to "Internet", and set "DNS Cache Increase" to enable. Finally, head back the "Memory and File System" menu, and select "Ultra-Fast Booting". This will re-arrange your boot files to the front of the drive (so they run faster), and then do a full defrag on your drive. This process may take several hours, but is well worth it in the long-run.
There you go! Several free apps that will keep your computer in tip-top shape.