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Built-in Windows XP Cleaning Utilities

Part of the Cleaning Windows XP For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Bet you didn’t know that Windows XP can clean itself. Well, actually, you have to do the heavy lifting as in running the programs, but at least the cleaning programs are there for you to run. The following table lists the five most helpful cleaning utilities:

Utility What It Does How to Use It
Disk Cleanup Allows you to identify and remove the most common forms of clutter on your hard drive. Choose Start→All Programs→Accessories→System Tools→Disk Cleanup.
Msconfig Modifies how your system starts. Choose Start→Run, type msconfig, and click OK.
Check Disk Checks for hard-drive errors and corrects simple ones. Display the My Computer window, right-click a drive, and choose Properties; on the Tools tab, click Check Now.
Defragmenter Analyzes disk drives for fragmentation and removes it as much as possible. Display the My Computer window, right-click a drive, and choose Properties; on the Tools tab, click Defragment Now.
Registry Editor Allows you to examine the contents of the Registry, back it up, and make changes if necessary. Use with extreme caution. Choose Start→Run, type regedit, and click OK.
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