Computer geek-type question

Rusty Hills Farm

11 Years
Apr 3, 2008
Up at the barn
Hi, all!

I have an XP that is about 6 years old and starting to run slow and give me error messages. I wanted to trade up to a Windows 7 until I discovered the upgraded software for my online job would run close to $1000 for a p/t job that only nets about $5000 a year. Decided that was not good business sense. So...I downloaded one of those PC "cleaner"-type programs from WinZip and it found 6 THOUSAND files that it says I should delete. Over a thousand of them are from AVG, which is my security program, so I am very hesitant, especially since I do not have a CLUE of what they are used for. Others include "outdated" drivers (what IS a driver anyhow?) and tons of Firefox files (my browser, which has been giving me fits and maybe this is why?).

Sooooo....what I am wondering is this: If I create a restore point for today and then let the software delete all these files, if my computer then does not work right and some of my programs are off, can I just go back and restore the computer? Or will that not work because all those files have been deleted?

I really wish I understood the "back side" of my computer. I can run all my software programs but I haven't a clue about what the system does to make everything function so nicely. At least it did until recently. I have a 37 GIG hard drive that is only 2/3 full--but most of that seems to be updates for this program and that and the system itself, none of which I have a clue about. MY own stuff seems to take up very little space at all--maybe 5 GIGs, if that.

Soooo...any input, suggestions, opinions, and what-have-you will be greatly appreciated.




Rest in Peace 1956-2011
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
Hope someone geeky can help out. I'll be watching for answers, even though I don't have troubles in my dinosaur....yet!


9 Years
Jan 19, 2011
Escanaba, MI
You need to likely to several things. The only "cleaner" program I and my computer savvy friends will trust is C Cleaner .

You should first off, defrag your computer/s though. This gets rid of fragmented files and compresses them together, creating more space on your harddrive and you computer works less hard to find all pieces of files. A great program for that is defraggler and is very easy to use. Be sure to empty the trash bin before defragging, since believe it or not, a lot of people don't do that on a regular basis, and it can take up a LOT of storage space on your harddrive.

Another program that is a must is malwarebytes . I use it with Avast antivirus, but it will work with AVG too. Both programs are good antivirus to use.

It likely isn't the actual operating system though, but your computers. Six years is a long time without an upgrade.

Edit: I forgot to answer what a driver is, my bad! Think of it as a translator. When you install a new printer, you need to download the new drivers (either from a disk that came with the printer or from the printer manufacturer's website) so the computer and the printer can understand each other, and thus work. Operating systems, devises, and programs have drivers so they can all work together. Drivers are often updated and new versions are released.
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Redneck Tech Girl
9 Years
Apr 18, 2010
My poor beastie is about 8 years old now, and still chugging, other than power issues.

I'd first go to your Control Panel to Add and Remove Programs, and take a look what programs you have installed. Go through and google the ones you've installed that you don't know what they are. There is often a lot of sneaky stuff on there you don't need or use. It can go bye bye. Things that say Java or Microsoft should stay
Things like Wackadoodle Pony Club can probably go, unless it's something you use a lot

Once you remove those, go empty your Recycling Bin.

Go to My Computer, right click on your drive, usually C: drive, go to Properties. Click Disk Cleanup. It will bring up all sorts of cached stuff, it can all go. If it's big and packed with stuff, it might take a while. When it's done, you can check out stuff in the More Options to see if there is anything else you want to toss out, but be careful with those. Click OK and it will dump the junk and compress some things.

Go to Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then Disk Defragmenter. Analyze and then if it says you should defrag, just defrag. If you've not done it in a while, you might want to set it to go before bed and let it run all night. It's usually a pretty long process if you don't do it often.

Also, make sure you are up on your updates for Windows, Firefox, Adobe, etc. I'd do these first before the cleaning, so you can make sure your running on the latest information. Just google whatever system it is (Windows XP, Java etc) and updates and go to the main page for that software and get them down. It might mean a few restarts depending on what the updates are.

Finally, write down the errors as you get them, and google them. Lots of good tech forums out there to explain how to fix some of the errors


Kiss My Grits...
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 19, 2008
Western MA
HOW do you people get your computers to last SO long! I blew up TWO last year(laptops.).... well 3 if you count my old desk one to. Gah!

ETA: Or maybe my desk top was the year before... but still...
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9 Years
Jan 19, 2011
Escanaba, MI
Quote:My laptop is six years old and still going strong. I have to use an external hard drive with it for extra storage space. Other than it being built like a tank, careful maintenance has helped! Some computer companies like HP built laptops that are incredibly prone to overheating, and that kills the devise prematurely. Everyone has their favorites, but sometimes it is better to get a slightly older computer model that is known for its toughness and reliability as opposed to a brand new one that has been out for a short time. That way, you know it shouldn't go kaboom!
Plus, it is cheaper.

My desktop is younger, only two years old, but it is mostly a gaming computer built from scratch. With a desktop, it is easy to make them last a long time since if you, for instance, have a bad power source, you just rip it out and replace. Upgrading RAM, the processor, graphics card, adding another hard drive, etc. is super easy with a desktop, too. I honestly prefer them to laptops (the only redeeming feature of a laptop being portability). I'd rather do occasional upgrades to keep the desktop from becoming too obsolete, instead of replacing the entire system.

Ditto on googling issues, nearly all techies google error messages they don't know of! Makes it easy to find solutions!

Gardengirl 2011

8 Years
Mar 3, 2011
Central Florida
HOW do you people get your computers to last SO long! I blew up TWO last year(laptops.).... well 3 if you count my old desk one to. Gah!

I finally got a new PC after having my old Dell for 10 years. Yes, I sai 1 years.
But I've never been into downloading a lot of fluff and stuff because I'm afraid of getting notices that I quite frankly don't understand anyhow. And I have no patience for "Peggy" in Pakastan when I call for tech help. So I go only on a few forums, do emails, and a little on facebook, but don't do all the applications.

Essentially Redhen, you're probably young and fearless where I'm older and scared to "go there".
If it makes you feel better, my niece just killed her new (1 yr. old) laptop.

BTW, my eyes glazed over at the advice/instructions given in the answers here. As I said, I'm not young and fearless, lol.​

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