My best practice to maintain a healthy PC is to re-install the operating system and the applications every few month. These are the steps I follow. In case it is helpful for others.
Rule 1: Reinstall Operating System every 2-3 months.
Rule 2: Have Drive C: and Drive D: on computer. Name Drive D: as Data and never format it. Then re-format drive C: every time I install operating system.
Rule 3: Never, ever put any valuable files (which cannot be created from another source) on Drive C.
After installation, I will do at least the following thing.
- Run Windows Update
- Install Office 2003.
- Install Firefox and don’t use IE from then on
- Turn ClearType on
There are many others steps, but these are the major one.