5) Keep Antivirus Updated
Now I said not to keep up with the Joneses, this however does not apply to antivirus software. It is a necessity to keep free from viruses and malware or whatever may come your way. This is why simply updating virus patterns will not work.
The first antivirus programs did not handle spyware and malware. As things progress from bad to worse you need to have the latest defense tools.
6) Keep it Clean
Another tip to a happy and healthy Windows XP is maintenance. I have seen all too many times: the unkempt system.
If you are going to keep Windows running smoothly you need to run your maintenance. Windows Vista automatically runs disk defragmentation, but for XP you need to either run it manually or schedule a task. It is also important to remove unnecessary temp files and to run a registry cleaner.
There is no shortage of things you can do to clean up XP. A few other good maintenance tips: use add/remove programs to remove software. In addition, never forgot to remove programs from the Windows startup. Much software and even some hardware add utilities and pre-loaders into the Windows startup. This only adds to the boot time and in most cases, they are not needed to run the program or hardware effectively.
Its a good idea to run the disk cleanup utility provided with XP. This will remove many of the unneeded file XP keeps around. It will also get rid of outdated restore point files, which are no longer needed. This will go a long way in keeping your system healthy.
7) Avoid the Unnecessary
I know my last piece of advice may not be popular. It seems, though, that we tend to put lots of software, toolbars and utilities that are not needed on our systems.
There is no need to have the Google and Yahoo toolbar in Internet Explorer. Likewise, it is not necessary to have Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari Web browsers. I see users all the time who install the latest version of AOL, for instance, and leave the last four versions installed.
Another popular viewpoint is the idea that if one spyware utility is good then two or three are better. All these compete for resources and slow your machine down. A lot of users are wary of Windows Vista because they feel it is a bloated down OS. Do not make the mistake of loading Windows XP down with things that are not necessary.
Following these few guidelines will ensure that your Windows XP system stays running long after Windows 7 is even released. In fact, your hardware will probably give way before XP does.
Who knows what Windows 7 has to offer, perhaps you may want XP to run until the coming of Windows 8. Hopefully not, but these tips will certainly help keep you running smooth until youre ready for your upgrade.