back up your shit
reformat your computer
put your files back on
openoffice - free office that is better than microsoft's, waaaay better. try it.
foobar - for music. the memory it uses is small and you can customize it to look like anything, and the sound output is above any other player.
gimp - it's like photoshop but free. if you want to pirate photoshop though go ahead.
pidgin - all in one messenger. very clean, simplistic interface. lots of cool plugins and shit too. if you use video chat, get the official messenger along with this though, cause it doesn't support video chat.
utorrent - best torrent client. uses only a small amount of memory and is easy to setup.
winrar/7zip - both are way good but winrar is an infinite trial and a little box will come up that you just have to hit close on, unless you pay for it.
nod32 - best virus protection
windows defender - best spyware protection
rainlender - calender program that sits on the desktop, very nice
firefox - obviously get this. good extensions are greasemonkey for all sorts of tweaks. stealther for looking at porn. adblock for blocking anything. ubiquity, which you hit crtl and a button, and firefox is now in textbased commands, which is really useful.
like you can type in weather 11849 (zipcode), and it'll come up. or type in email steve, and the window will pop up, or google water, and it'll google it. it's so dope.
reload every, you can set a page to reload every so period of time. good for watching shit on ebay. fireftp is good if you need a ftp client. oh and password exporter, if you want a file with all your passwords that is encrypted that you can just import into firefox, that's good too.
video downloader, to download flash videos off of basically any site.
truecrypt - to hide any files, you can make a hidden, encrypted file that can be mounted as a passworded partition and then unmounted.
then just defrag your computer once every month or two, go to msconfig and then go to startup, and see what is checked there. do not check anything that you don't want running automatically.
go to services, hit hide microsoft services, and uncheck anything you do not want running.
hit crtl-alt-delete and go to processes. google all of them. see if anything looks funky. END TASK of anything you do not want running. it is a waste of memory and slowing down your computer.
organize your shit into folders and tag everything properly. don't make a mess out your computer.