I found this page on the Microsoft web site. They have five quick tips for speeding up your computer. The handiest are the Disk Cleanup and Defragmenting features.
Both of these tools can be found by clicking Start >> Programs >> Accessories >> System Tools.
If you and your household spend a lot of time on the Internet browsing, I recommend running disk cleanup once every week or two. The more often you do run disk cleanup, the less time it will take to complete.
Disk cleanup eliminates “temporary files”. These temp files are junk files that the computer accumulates as part of its normal operations. You need not work about losing anything that you saved. Anything you save isn’t considered a temporary file, no matter how long you intend on keeping it. Think of temp files as being scratch pads that the computer allows to pile up inside the hard drive.
Disk defragmenting can be run once every month or two. It’s also handy if you save and download large files such a videos and music. As with disk cleanup, the more you run it, the less time it takes to complete. In most cases, if you use the Analyze feature before the Defragment feature, it will let you know if the hard disk needs to be “defragged” or not.
Not familiar with the term defragmenting?
When your computer saves files it tries to save them near the center or the start of the disk so they can be accessed faster. In many cases the computer will chop the file into pieces and scatter the pieces wherever they fit. Your computer may run slower when it needs to access these files later becuase the computer must search for and reassemble the pieces.
When you defragment the hard drive, the computer reassembles all the files and rearranges them so the files are stored whole instead of in fragments. Also, it will put important programs near the start/center of the disk so they load fast.
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