my vista laptop had been getting slower and slower and crashing and finally -
WHUMP ! ENOUGH! Time for a cleanup!
last night copied off all important files to the portable hard drive and then WIPED the WHOLE DANG THING and ran system recovery set to "Fresh From the Factory"
of course one consequence is the time it takes to reinstall necessary and wanted programs - but am taking much care to install only what is really needed. part of the reason the laptop was falling apart and misbehaving so badly was an, uhm, propensity to try out new things - and after two years, things like file sectors and memory were a bit messy.
usually do a clean sweep at least once a year - somehow let it slide much too long.
its so nice to have a fresh clean laptop running fast and responding quickly
and it was fun too (call me a geek)