A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitimate?

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A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitimate?

Postposted on Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:45 am

I wonder if there an actually good and on-the-level computer cleaner for WinXP that's not some kinda sleazy malware that at best only "succeeds" in making ones system even more dirty and crap-filled...?

My computer has some issues, primarily with system performance and stability. Maybe cleaning my computer out would actually help, if not solve, one or more of my probs.

And frankly I'd just feel better if I knew that I didn't have any useless crap stuck in my system. The fact that leftover *beep* could be in there, taking up space if nothing else, just plain bothers me! You know what I mean? I'd prefer my old little computer at least be as clean as it can be!

Can anyone recommend an actually good cleaner that doesn't have any unpleasant side-effects for my system?

Thanks!
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:44 am

The best cleaner is a system wipe and rebuild, but I'm guessing that's out of the question for you. So, the best system cleaners I've used have been free: CCleaner and EasyCleaner.

Any of these 'cleaners' carries risks, so make sure to back up your system first. I would recommend imaging the drive so you have a complete snapshot in case you encounter an unrecoverable worst case scenario.
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:30 am

Well I guess I would do that backup if it could be done. All of my drives are already too full with not even enough space to defrag them, much less backup everything onto...somewhere hehehe

OTOH Jesus Christ, is the risk really that large? ??? Not to mention backing up all of everything would probably be quite some bit of work anyway! All that, just to give my computer a cleaning? Hey, there's no way in hell that I would do all that again and again everytime I just wanted to use a cleaner! And would I have to double up on whatever HDD space I may have, upon which everything should be backed up! That's costly too! No way! Mine olde Commodore 64 nearly thirty years ago was never, ever so laborious for anything! And I thought computers were supposed to be labor-savers! I mean doing all that seems a costly and time-consuming bitch of a chore at best, just to clean out the computer!

Gee, there MUST be a better, more efficient and direct way that cleaning my system can be done! ??? If using such programs can be risky to that extreme, how good can they be? :o Someone please tell me that a more reasonable and viable way exists!
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:29 am

The Lord of the Flies wrote:Well I guess I would do that backup if it could be done. All of my drives are already too full with not even enough space to defrag them, much less backup everything onto...somewhere hehehe

OTOH Jesus Christ, is the risk really that large? ??? Not to mention backing up all of everything would probably be quite some bit of work anyway! All that, just to give my computer a cleaning? Hey, there's no way in hell that I would do all that again and again everytime I just wanted to use a cleaner! And would I have to double up on whatever HDD space I may have, upon which everything should be backed up! That's costly too! No way! Mine olde Commodore 64 nearly thirty years ago was never, ever so laborious for anything! And I thought computers were supposed to be labor-savers! I mean doing all that seems a costly and time-consuming bitch of a chore at best, just to clean out the computer!

Gee, there MUST be a better, more efficient and direct way that cleaning my system can be done! ??? If using such programs can be risky to that extreme, how good can they be? :o Someone please tell me that a more reasonable and viable way exists!


I have used CCleaner for years and have never had a problem with it. Go ahead, use it, and you will free up hundreds of MB of space that had been used by temp files and other such crap. Also use the registry cleaner included. Use it's built in registry backup tool before letting it fix the problems it finds.

If your HDD are so full they can't be defragged, this is also a problem that is slowing you down BIG TIME. You need to dump some of the less frequently used, less important data. You need about 25% of each drive "free" if you don't want performance to suffer.

If these simple steps are too much trouble, just quit bitching about it.

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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:51 am

Step 1: Get a bigger hard drive.
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:35 am

just brew it! wrote:Step 1: Get a bigger hard drive.
$120 2 TB Hitachi HDS722020ALA330 Deskstar 7K2000 (7200 rpm)
or $100 -10 code "EMCKJJG27" -20 MIR 2 TB Western Digital WD20EARS Caviar Green (≈5400 rpm)

I've used CCleaner without problems.
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:43 pm

I have found that malwarebytes free does a good job of cleaning out nasties that a lot of other ones miss.

http://www.malwarebytes.org/
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:46 pm

anotherengineer wrote:I have found that malwarebytes free does a good job of cleaning out nasties that a lot of other ones miss.

http://www.malwarebytes.org/


ditto
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:30 pm

The Lord of the Flies wrote:Well I guess I would do that backup if it could be done. All of my drives are already too full with not even enough space to defrag them, much less backup everything onto...somewhere hehehe
All your data drives can just be unplugged when nuking from orbit (NFO), so they don't need to be backed up. How much other pr0nstuff do you have? I am sure a 1TB drive would be plenty, no?

The Lord of the Flies wrote:OTOH Jesus Christ, is the risk really that large? ???
If you don't know what you are doing, there is a possibility that you can make the OS unbootable. While you won't lose your precious pr0ndata, but is that not risky enough?

The Lord of the Flies wrote:Not to mention backing up all of everything would probably be quite some bit of work anyway! All that, just to give my computer a cleaning? Hey, there's no way in hell that I would do all that again and again everytime I just wanted to use a cleaner!
Well, to run those "cleaners" you probably don't need a full backup, they were talking in the context of NFO. You are wiping at least 1 partition so that partition needs to be backed up of course. BTW, this points to the fact that you have not been doing regular maintenance on your system and now you are just paying the price. Sorry to sound like an ass but if you have a house so dirty with insects/rats/etc crawling and stuff you are going to spend a lot of effort "just to clean it". Same idea here. You let this situation happen I am afraid. You did not spend the effort to keep your system clean and snappy and now it is payback time, very much like taking out a loan.

gerbilspy wrote:I have used CCleaner for years and have never had a problem with it. Go ahead, use it, and you will free up hundreds of MB of space that had been used by temp files and other such crap. Also use the registry cleaner included. Use it's built in registry backup tool before letting it fix the problems it finds.
Here is a question: if CCleaner "accidentally" zaps some important registry stuff that Windows will not even boot, how do you go about restoring from CCleaner? Do they come with a command-line Restore mode program? It does not seem to be the case so there is still a risk (though to be fair I would say most of the time Safe Mode should still work so this is a very crazy scenario).

gerbilspy wrote:If your HDD are so full they can't be defragged, this is also a problem that is slowing you down BIG TIME. You need to dump some of the less frequently used, less important data. You need about 25% of each drive "free" if you don't want performance to suffer.
At least from the sound of it, the OP was lazy and now he needs to pay back the principle+interests. All those times backup's, defrag's, and uninstalling unused crap that should be done and not performed all these years? It is finally catching up to him.

OP: I thought you are building a completely new machine anyway? So once you build your new rig I am sure you can do whatever you want to the old, right?
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:33 pm

Flying Fox wrote:I am sure a 1TB drive would be plenty, no?
In that case...
$70 -15 code "HARDOCP112C" 1 TB Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 (7200 rpm)
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:26 pm

anotherengineer wrote:I have found that malwarebytes free does a good job of cleaning out nasties that a lot of other ones miss.
http://www.malwarebytes.org/

Another good one is SuperAntiSpyware which has an incredibly useful mode called SuperAntiSpyware Alternate Start that randomizes the executable name and memory location to defeat spyware and viruses that look for such things. It's free for non-commercial use.
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:56 pm

Most registry cleaners only focus on HKCU. As such there's not an immense amount of danger for it cleaning that up. It is on the other hand a bit of a waste of time. HKCU is a per user registry hive, the registry itself is also a load on demand design. So there really isn't much, if any, performance to be gained by pruning it.
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:27 pm

I'm going to try for free or at the most $30 to provide an answer:

According to your sig, it's a P4 system w/ 1.25GB of ram.

In this case, I'm not sure registry cleaners are really necessary.

1) Check Task Manager (ctrl-alt-del) after you've had the computer on a few days without rebooting. How much memory is being used in Task Manager? How many tasks running? I assume you haven't rebooted in a few days, but not important... in fact, ideal to check after a few days if you don't reboot regularly.
2) Run SpyBot Search & Destroy, completely scan and then immunize. Reboot. Ensure all is OK.
3) Run Malwarebytes free-scan. Fix all, reboot. Ensure all is OK.
4) Disable unnecessary services (you can google how to do this, but you can probably easily disable Terminal Services, Computer Browser, Server, and a handful of others, and set many to manual instead of automatic). Reboot. Ensure all is OK.
5) Start, run, msconfig. Go to startup and uncheck basically everything that you aren't positive you use. Reboot. Ensure all is OK.
6) Check to see how much free memory you have. With only ~1GB of RAM, the extra head-room should give you a nice boost in performance.

Also, if you want to spend $30, here's a 1GB stick to replace that DDR2700 256MB stick to go from 1.25GB to 2GB RAM:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

I'd have to do some reading to remember my history here after the beer i've had, but FF/someone else, isn't having 256MB and 1GB crippling the ability of that P4 to run dual-channel on the first GB of RAM? In fact, if there are stability issues, my guess would be dropping the PC2700 256MB stick may in fact help things out. Throwing darts here, though.
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:05 pm

The Lord of the Flies wrote:Well I guess I would do that backup if it could be done. All of my drives are already too full with not even enough space to defrag them, much less backup everything onto...somewhere hehehe

OTOH Jesus Christ, is the risk really that large? ??? Not to mention backing up all of everything would probably be quite some bit of work anyway! All that, just to give my computer a cleaning? Hey, there's no way in hell that I would do all that again and again everytime I just wanted to use a cleaner! And would I have to double up on whatever HDD space I may have, upon which everything should be backed up! That's costly too! No way! Mine olde Commodore 64 nearly thirty years ago was never, ever so laborious for anything! And I thought computers were supposed to be labor-savers! I mean doing all that seems a costly and time-consuming bitch of a chore at best, just to clean out the computer!

Gee, there MUST be a better, more efficient and direct way that cleaning my system can be done! ??? If using such programs can be risky to that extreme, how good can they be? :o Someone please tell me that a more reasonable and viable way exists!

Gee golly! My pee-cee done fulled up with jiggawatts of data and now it's so slow! Back in the olden days we didn't used to have to do this kind of labor to keep our punch-card machinescompewters running!

Yeah well, back in the olden days they were a lot simpler machines, with exponentially smaller hard-drives and far less variety of data & programs that you could store & run. And yes I have used an Amiga.

Man-up. Sure your old 1954 Ford pickup still runs and all it needs is some oil & lube, but it can't go 0-60 in 10 seconds (or even 10 minutes), nor does it handle the corners or the rain like a 2010 sport sedan, nor can it pull a multi-ton payload like a newer bigger better pickup can.

PS: I never post here... think I'll get a warning/ban-hammer for this? :o :wink:
In all seriousness, guy, follow the advice given; use CCleaner, kill off unnecessary processes & services, consider upgrading the RAM, get a bigger hard-drive, defrag 'em once in a while (actually, if you're still runnin a FAT32 fs, change to NTFS and fragmentation won't be nearly as big a problem). You'll be fine. And don't worry, we all think your olde Commodore64 still rocks :D
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:23 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:Most registry cleaners only focus on HKCU. As such there's not an immense amount of danger for it cleaning that up. It is on the other hand a bit of a waste of time. HKCU is a per user registry hive, the registry itself is also a load on demand design. So there really isn't much, if any, performance to be gained by pruning it.

The Sysinternals/Microsoft applet Autoruns will help you clean out all of those nasties
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:11 pm

I still don't think this is a registry issue. I'd like to see the 256MB ram stick be upgraded, a few things be cleaned out or disabled that aren't needed, and a few tests be ran. Not sure what the obsession with registry cleaners is here: I'd stay away from those in this case (no backups & no reason to based on OP-request). Even a couple hundred/thousand dead entries in the registry is not going to help anything by having them cleared out unless a specific problem can be identified. i.e. driver conflict that can have a targeted erasure.

The main issue here is instability and a strange RAM configuration, coupled with a probably poorly maintained XP (i.e. too many things running for the RAM involved).

And yes, I would consider in P4 format 256MB of PC2700 and 1GB of PC3200 a "strange" RAM configuration.

I'd dump the 256MB ASAP as part of my testing. It's worthless. Then I'd quickly spend $30 to have another 1GB added, that can run dual-channel (afaik). Even if it can't run dual-channel on that mb, it will solve the memory problems, assuming the XP OS is all messed up with nonsense and the other 1GB memory stick checks out ok (something I don't think the OP wants to check, since it involves effort beyond what is asked already.)

Really, an easy fix to rule out all the rest of the problems. Plus what will amount to a nice fix for $30, and all is necessary is about 3 minutes to pop the case open and slap the new stick in and then ditch the old 256MB one, giving yet another testing point.
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:55 am

gerbilspy wrote:If your HDD are so full they can't be defragged, this is also a problem that is slowing you down BIG TIME. You need to dump some of the less frequently used, less important data. You need about 25% of each drive "free" if you don't want performance to suffer.
Okay, I've been doing this. I have 3 HDDs; my Primary Drive that hold the OS has ~38.33GB of total capacity; the First Auxiliary Drive has ~466GB; and my Secondary Auxiliary, and external HDD via USB Frankensteined onto the system, ~112GB.

Windows' Disk Defragmenter says that at least 15% of the space per HDD should be open, free space. So should I really free as much as 25%? And should I also do so on the Auxiliary Drives that don't host the OS?
If these simple steps are too much trouble, just quit bitching about it.

Computers are machines that need maintenance in order to maintain their "like new" performance. Just like a car
or lawn mower. You wouldn't run a car out of oil would you? :)
LOL no, no, steps such as those are fine. And I know that computers need a bit of periodic maintenance. That's of course reasonable and I'll never bitch about that. But you must admit that that's a rather different story than risking everything, eh.

In fact, I'm working on that step right now and have been for the last nearly two days. Ain't done yet, though. Freeing up space is not hard. But the hard part is deciding what goes and what stays. I hate to delete anything! But I gotta get rid of something, probably quite a few somethings! That process continues....
just brew it! wrote:Step 1: Get a bigger hard drive.
Yes, yes, that's in the queue! There was that tread I wrote about that. I bookmarked a very nice deal on what appears to be a very good HDD that some good fella recommended, along with that adapter-thing that you, yourself recommended. I hope to get both next month. But meanwhile....
anotherengineer wrote:http://www.malwarebytes.org/
Yeah, maybe that will be the one I try after I finish freeing up space. Thanks, man. :)
Flying Fox wrote:[...]you have not been doing regular maintenance on your system and now you are just paying the price. Sorry to sound like an ass[...]
No, no, no need to apologize, even if you were sounding like an ass. I mean I don't think that you were.
At least from the sound of it, the OP was lazy and now he needs to pay back the principle+interests. All those times backup's, defrag's, and uninstalling unused crap that should be done and not performed all these years?
Huh? Years? What are you talking about? I don't think I've had this system yet eight months! And I'm not sure about "lazy"--more like I'm being a big pack-rat! I just loooove gathering and storing data! hehehehe
I thought you are building a completely new machine anyway?
In the queue, in the queue! But meanwhile....
bdwilcox wrote:Another good one is SuperAntiSpyware
Hey, thanks! I may try that one as well! :)

And thanks for replying, computron9000. What you're saying looks extremely interesting to say the least! I'll come back to that in a day or two after the system has been on continually. :)
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:36 am

lol @windows users.
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:49 am

LOL you are right, given how all the cyberworld so revolves around the Mac. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Perhaps you have something more interesting to say?
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:42 pm

The Lord of the Flies wrote:Okay, I've been doing this. I have 3 HDDs; my Primary Drive that hold the OS has ~38.33GB of total capacity; the First Auxiliary Drive has ~466GB; and my Secondary Auxiliary, and external HDD via USB Frankensteined onto the system, ~112GB.

If your "primary drive" is indeed 40GB in size, then is it 5400rpm or 7200rpm? Even if it is 7200rpm it will be one of those "earlier model" ones then the speed of course is not very good. This is another reason why the system seems slow.
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:50 pm

The Lord of the Flies wrote:
At least from the sound of it, the OP was lazy and now he needs to pay back the principle+interests. All those times backup's, defrag's, and uninstalling unused crap that should be done and not performed all these years?
Huh? Years? What are you talking about? I don't think I've had this system yet eight months!

Oh gods.. that makes this whole thread so much worse... :o

Did you inherit it from someone else? Because obviously the machine itself has been 'alive' longer than 8 months.. If so, why did you not do a format+reinstall when you first got it?
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:13 pm

But back to the subject at hand: I wanted to know if 25% free space is actually necessary on my drives, even the Auxiliary Drives? Or is 15% free all that that is necessary?

Thanks!
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:58 pm

The Lord of the Flies wrote:But back to the subject at hand: I wanted to know if 25% free space is actually necessary on my drives, even the Auxiliary Drives? Or is 15% free all that that is necessary?

Thanks!

The Windows built-in defrag will barf if there's not 15% free space and there's no getting around that. 25% free space will just cut down on the defrag time. If your drives are stuffed full and you need to defrag, you'll be buying PerfectDisk.
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:10 pm

Ah, thanks! So the 25% free is merely a convenience! I'm already still yet in the process of dumping so much as it is, AND it's work to do that. Why not let the automated defragger do more work and me less, even though the defragger may take a bit longer that way, that's okay by me hehehe

I'll look into that "PerfectDisk" think at least for curiosity's sake.

Thanks for the reply. Now I can continue to delete things and then move on to the next step hehehehe
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:34 pm

Okay, I've got all three drives to 15% or more free space on each. Defragged as well.

Now what? Buy the RAM? Or do something else?
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:01 pm

Buy the ram, install it.
Do you have a legal xp disk? If so, then you really should learn to re-install the OS, this is pretty much the cost of running windows. Google has all the how-to's you'll need.
You need a new hdd too.
The ram+hdd will run about $100.
Combined with a new os install, and your pc will run great.
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:10 pm

Yeah, I'm not reinstalling the operating-system right now.

I don't need to re-install the OS right now, and just buying a new HDD is more than is needed, really.
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:47 pm

The Lord of the Flies wrote:Yeah, I'm not reinstalling the operating-system right now.

I don't need to re-install the OS right now, and just buying a new HDD is more than is needed, really.


Good luck.
todd
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:21 am

Yeah, I guess I need it. :I
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The Lord of the Flies
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Re: A Good System Cleaner for WinXP That Is Actually Legitim

Postposted on Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:19 am

I responded to your PM, let me know how it goes.
Matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves... back to you with the weather, Bob!
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