I'm not sure I'll solve the thing's problems this way, but I will have a better sense that the issues aren't caused by musty or corrupt driver files, bugs in old software revisions, dust and heat, or other such things. I'll probably do more updates and make some additional tweaks before I consider the tune-up complete.
I'm wondering: what do you do when confronted with a friend or relation's older PC that's experiencing some problems or just needs a tune-up? What tools (hardware and software) to do employ in doing a PC overhaul? (I sometimes remove any Norton AV/Security suites and install Avast!, among other things. Heh.) What issues do you refuse to touch with a ten-foot pole? And how do you decide when to draw the line and tell the PC's owner to give it up and buy a cheap new system?