I am no tekkie, can't screw in a lightbulb but I can do a MINI clean up on my PC daily. I do the MAXI CLEAN UP once every six months, (called SCAN & DEFRAG). You walk away from the PC and clean the kitchen while it 'runs itself' clean. But that easy MINI CLEAN is so fast and easy  that I can carry on a dull PHONE conversation while I do it. Not an exciting one but a boring person. This so called dangerous work (at least it's said to be, as a jerk could hit the jugular) of erasing chaff files is that easy, mindless. It is done in the TREES or we call it 'the directories' and their branches

I use ZTREE file manager, a DOS FILE MANAGER which you can download free online at ZTREE.COM and install in a minute flat, and use to see your TREES. Directories. Try it for thirty days and then buy it. 30$.

I can just scoot around those branches in the tree, those directories as if I had a little jet ladder, splaying out any directory to see the contents. I can even use it to edit files and that all important 'meta text' that gets you seen by search engines. (How to MERCHANDISE your sites.)

Once I am inside my ztree screen, I go to the C DRIVE. Then jet ladder scroll down to PROGRAM FILES, then go into that and scroll down that tree to NETSCAPE which is my browser. You may have another browser. I splay out netscape and see 'USERS' and then I splay that out and see CACHE and I erase everything in the cache directory except FAT. DB at top, as when I DO THIS I AM ONLINE. I will need it to get my email or surf. So I leave that one It erases every day when I BOOT OFF. And comes back fresh every time.

THEN I GO DOWN the tree, the C TREE to C:\windows, and scroll down the tree to TEMP files and clean those out too. I USE ZTREE for all this.

I do that cache cleansing every day. Now once every six months, when something seems sort of slow, or goes amiss, I know I have to do a bigger, more extensive cleaning.

THE BIGGER CLEANING entails SCAN AND DEFRAG which is built into a WINDOWS SYSTEM.. If anything goes wrong any slow surfing to websites I suspect the machine needs to SCAN for glitches, and then restack or defrag.  I unplug from the DSL line. I turn off all the icons on lower right hand of screen, all programs, virus protectors, and even unplug from the desk top graphic choice if necessary. Once empty of clutter, I do SCANDISK (in the START BUTTON under RUN) And I do DEFRAG second.

Every day the PC will become clogged with megs of bytes that are useless --called 'temp files'. You should be able to SURF to any site in a second if you have DSL and if you can't, it's time to clean your PC.

THE BIG scan defrag CLEANING isn't the daily cleanup. I have to clean a few million bytes off every single night and I barely surf to a few sites. I mostly use this machine to write articles. But when you do surf somewhere, it's a filthy world. You gotta wash your gloves nightly so why would you think you don't have to clean the PC?

CLEANING THE HARDRIVE is EASY. YOUR DESK TOP HAS ONE ICON that is an XRAY of your PC guts called "MY COMPUTER". CLICK ON IT. It shows the main  organs of the PC. Go over to THE PICTURE of the C DRIVE and  RIGHT CLICK on that C DRIVE, then hit PROPERTIES.  It asks, CLEAN DISK? erase files? Say yes. Let it do that.  And then click your way out of there.  If you can't CLICK ON "MY COMPUTER" as it's not on the desktop,  you may have to click on START on lower left  then enter "settings" then CONTROL PANEL.  Then, RIGHT CLICK ON C DRIVE  HIT "PROPERTIES"  then HIT DISK CLEANUP.  Answer yes. Let it do its biz. Exit.

NEXT, Clean Out Temporary Files Temporary files which have no business  maintaining a permanent residence on your Hard Drive. What are Temporary  Files? Basically, they are copies of the files on your hard drive.
Whenever you attempt to access a file, the OS ( Windows ) creates a copy  of the file for you to view and edit. This maneuver serves to protect  the original file from accidental deletion or other harm. Where are the
Temporary Files ? The temporary copies reside in the main memory area  most of the time, but they may get caught on the hard drive when the  computer crashes or is improperly shut down.  These wayward temporary files can begin to consume a noticeable amount of  storage space on the hard drive.

How to Manually Delete Temp Files

To avoid filling your HD space up with temp files, you should delete the
temp files as they accumulate.

You can do this manually by opening the OS' Search utility ( accessible
through the start menu ) and typing *.tmp as your file search criteria,
When the search results appear on-screen, highlight all matches and delete

1) Click " Start Menu "
2) Click " Search " or on some PC's it's FIND
3) Click " All Files and Folders "
4) Type in " *.tmp " as your search criteria ASTERISK DOT TMP got that?
5) Click " Search "
6) Click " Edit " ---> " Select "All Files ""
7) Press the Delete Key on your Keyboard
It will delete the ones you are NOT USING at that moment.
You have now deleted the temp files on your Hard Drive - Remember to keep
your HD temp file free !

NEXT, do SCAN AND DEFRAG often. Once a month. To learn how, and it's really

Or follow my method:
1.) ELIMINATE CHAFF, all temp files using a DOS file manager like ZTREE.
2.) When you have cleaned all temp files, GET OFFLINE & TAKE YOUR MODEM box and TURN IT OFF. Fine, you're unconnected to the internet. The machine is just dozing. NOW on the lower right hand side, all t hose little boxes? the VIRUS thingie, the ZONE ALARM, the SCHEDULER? Etc/ Turn each off. BY HITTING IT WITH RIGHT CLICK! It sez "TURN ME OFF?" YES. It'll say "I COME BACK AFTER YOU REBOOT" Say yes. YOU CLOSED DOWN MODEM AND ALL THOSE LITTLE SOFTWARE ICONS right?
NOW, hit 'START' button at lower left. Choose RUN it should say scandisk in that little box, if not place
it there or type it in. Tell it to do your C: drive, that's all you have, right/ I used to have A D DRIVe but no more. New machine, faster without it. So tell it C: Then hit enter. It will check the drive for errors.
GO WASH DISHES, clean closet. Make fruit jam. When machine finishes, hit START again, hit RUN again and choose DEFRAG You can view the process if you want. Let it go, it does itself like a washing machine In an hour or so it's all reorganized and this process Speeds up your  machine mightily though.

PHYSICAL CLEANING of HARDWARE AND THE GUTS. - Read : and then you will NOT be tempted to use a vacuum cleaner! I mean, you MIGHT BE when you open the case (with the system powered down -- unplugged ) and see all that dust. Put on a mask and use brushes to gently clean the fan area. Use paint brushes or rags on a stick. The Fan is first if you ever heard the sound of a fan slowing or stopping??? That makes for Overheating which will cause the system to self destruct. The primary fan to be concerned about is on the motherboard right over the CPU. Anyway it's a fan that is mounted right over some cooling fins that are extremely likely to be filled with dust.

If a can of compressed air isn't available, one has to gently take everything from q-tips to toothpicks & small brushes, paper towels & wipe/ extract the dust out of the cooling fin crevices, fans ( there will be a motherboard fan & a fan at the power supply, a large box at the upper back of the tower where all the wires go to- & clean every vent or air grille on the system. Takes an half hour. Static from electric vacuum would toast your PC so again, don't even think of it.

Use isopropyl rubbing alcohol or if water is used, barely dampen rags, use sparingly & give it all enough time to evaporate fully before plugging it back in!!! Even with the system "OFF" there is still power to the board so wetness is not a good idea!  Now, that PC will go like a Chevvie, for another 200 thousand miles.