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How do you clean up windows machines?

Hey guys,
Long time since I posted anything of use, well hope this helps some. I am wanting to compare notes with other techs out there. I am by trade a network/security admin but every once in a while I get the random friend or family member asking me to fix the speed or clean up their PC.

Well I want to know what tools/methods other techs use as well.

As far as what I do, usually when someone hands me a computer that is used by "computer illiterate" user(s), it is usually full of spy/mal ware and super slow. If it's really bad I just suggest re-installing widows after a nice format, but for those who don't want to or can't here's what I do:

1. Check antivirus, if non-existent or expired, install AVG free or symantec if I have a license available and run a full scan.

2. Delete all temp files (in user profiles as well as %:\windows\temp)

3.Run a full scan with Spybot search and destroy

4. run a full scan with Lavasoft's Ad-aware.

5. Run a full scan with malwarebytes.

6. Run CCleaner

7. Run a hard drive disk checker (usually windows one) with recovery of bad sectors.

8. defrag

9. Recently Ive been experimenting with running Tune-up Utilities (trial mode for 30 days)

Again, I'd like to know others' methods and see if we can help one another


Thanks guys, hope everyone has a nice day.

I'd skip step 9 to be honest, its more likely to break a PC than fix it :)

The quick way is to floormat and reload :)

Otherwise just ccleaner, malwarebytes, avast (if they won't pay me for eset or avg full and they usually don't :( ), spybot, jkdefrag. Usually sorts most machines :)


OSNN Advanced
I'd skip step 9 to be honest, its more likely to break a PC than fix it :)

The quick way is to floormat and reload :)

Otherwise just ccleaner, malwarebytes, avast (if they won't pay me for eset or avg full and they usually don't :( ), spybot, jkdefrag. Usually sorts most machines :)
you mean doormat? :p

1. Nod32
2. spybot S&D
3. ccleaner or steganos privacy suite
4. PerfectDisk

Those are just for maintenance. I usually format/restore image every9-12 months, sometimes 6-8 months, back to a post-install state (all required apps installed).
1) Turn keyboard over and shake out the hair, dust and food out.
2) Blow dust out of interior (including inside PSU and heatsinks) with canned air.
3) Wipe keyboard, case and monitor with 10% ammonia and water solution on a soft cotton cloth.


1. Delete all temp files - biweekly
2. Defrag (they check the disk integrity first) - biweekly
3. Delete all cookies and internet content - every couple months

I used to do everything else on your list too but after 20 years using PCs I realized it was a waste of time. Antivirus updates daily so it requires no action. Registry cleaning never acheived any measurable performance improvements. I'm careful which porn sites I click on so spyware and adware are not an issue.

Reformat? Once every 2 years when I do a MB change. Sometimes I skip that if the MB is the same brand and CPU manufacturer. Too many hundreds of app's to reinstall and re-setup.

My procedure is different if the PC has a confirmed infection. Varies depending on how tenacious the threat is.
Good list. If I were to use a tuning tool though it would be TuneXP which is free. Tweak UI also. Other then that, don't bother. I would also run the Disk Cleanup tool that comes with Windows. A lot of times it will get the old restore points and compressed files that CCleaner doesn't check for.
1. Check for spyware

Malware Byte’s Anti-malware
Combo Fix

Make sure systems are clean. Reboot and re-run spyware scan.

2. Remove “bloatware”

PC Decrapifier will help remove a lot of this junk.

3. Configure startups and windows services

Use Autoruns to disable unnecessary startup programs.

Disable unnecessary Windows services.

4. Remove useless files

Use CCleaner and/or Glary Utilities.

5. Clean registry

Use CCleaner and/or Glary Utilities.

6. Defrag registry

Use Glary Utilities or Registry Defrag.

7. Defrag hard drive

Use JkDefrag.

8. Windows updates

9. Secunia Personal Software Inspector

Install and check for out of date software such as Adobe, Flash, etc.

10. Anti-virus

Avira AntiVir Premium or NOD32. For a free alternative AVG free or Avast!


Beware the G-Man
Political User
Throw it out the window and build another one.
^^ I like how you think .. That is like getting rid of a car because it has a flat tire lol ..
well if we follow the attitude of console fanboys flat tires are unacceptable and should never happen.... :p
That is tue, lord lol ..
Just add water, some laundry detergent (liquid type, powdered detergent clumps too much), shake vigorously for 5 mins. Drain, rinse and you're done. Fabulous.


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
In my new job I find myself applying Mr Sheen liberally to many of the boxen - but then I do that for Ubuntu boxes as well as windows....


The Source
Political User
I use:
jv16 PowerTools 2009
TuneUp Utilities 2009

WinSysClean 2009 - I use once in a while to clean up any crap thats laying around the other programs missed.

Symantec Endpoint Protection

O&O Defrag - My HDD doctor

Longest running for my XP, nearly 3 yrs, till I got a Virus, damnit, See what happends when nothing is never up-to-date on time :(

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