Clean a hard drive with a Windows XP operating system by emptying the recycle bin, clearing the temporary Internet files cache, and deleting or archiving old files. People can also use the operating system's self-cleaning utilities, such as Disk Cleanup, Check Disk, Defragmenter and Registry Editor.
Other methods to clean the system include emptying deleted items and junk email folders, and manually deleting files with the extension "tmp."
The Disk Cleanup utility identifies and removes common forms of clutter on hard drives. Check Disk inspects hard drives for errors and automatically corrects simple problems. Defragmenter checks disk drives for fragmentation and fixes files accordingly. Registry Editor examines the registry content and makes changes to optimize operation. Users should use the editor cautiously, since mistakes can cause serious complications to the operation of the computer.
It is also possible to improve the performance of the PC by increasing RAM, obtaining a faster hard drive, and accessing data directly instead of using a network.
Microsoft created Windows XP and released it for retail sale on October 25, 2001. The operating system received mostly positive reviews. Commentators noted its superior performance compared to Windows 2000. Reviewers also praised its intuitive user interface and increased number of built-in device drivers.