Keeping the home systems (and work systems) running smoothly is no small task.
Sometimes being a sysadmin can lead to more work (or lack thereof) at home as well.
Case in point, I've been working on blogging and updating software on just two of our three home systems for most of the day. Sure it's fun. Lavie is taking a nap and Alvis has been a bit under the weather so it has been quiet.
Periodically I run a system cleaner. I don't do it "regularly" but maybe once every three months or so.
This is to clean out all the extra "bits" of junk that can accumulate during the use of a Windows system. Temp files, cache files, (some) log files, etc. It can grow to be quite a haul if you aren't careful.
Is it critical? Probably not. But it usually doesn't hurt either.
I have three tools I use primarily to do this cleaning:
CCleaner - (freeware) - version 2.07.575
Wise Disk Cleaner and Wise Registry Cleaner - (free/$) - versions 3.3.0
With CCleaner, I take the defaults, except I don't delete cookies the System items, or anything under "Advanced" unless I'm gunning for something specific. Under the "Application" tab I do cleanups of everything I find except Firefox (which I manually manage) and Sun Java. All else I let rip.
With the Wise tools, I usually just take the defaults as well.
Both Wise products and CCleaner have seen version updates recently so you might want to download newer versions to get the updates first.
I will run a registry defrag maybe once a year. I don't personally think it adds that much in performance gains, and if something goes bad, you can trash your registry. Not a good thing.
A new defragging tool that has been making the blog rounds lately is UltimateDefrag.. It certainly presents a "unique" interface using a circular pattern of blocks rather than the usual square/rectangular grid most use. Aside from this unique GUI, I can't really say much more, having not tried it out yet. Some uses report defragging issues when running along with some crashes of the application. Related Download Squad post: UltimateDefrag Optimizes your hard disk for apps you use the most.