Many of us have a relationship with our computer that is best expressed by the Righteous Brothers’ song, “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” When we first bought our shiny new system it was so much faster than our old computer and we loved it. But a year later, it boots slowly and performance is sluggish.

This year  Clean Out Your Computer Day (the second Monday in February) falls on Valentine’s Day providing that extra opportunity to rekindle the technological romance.

Some of us old-timers used to periodically reformat our hard drives and reinstall everything. Or we’d install a new larger hard drive, install a fresh operating system, and transfer data at our leisure.  But with the number of applications we use today, reinstalling from scratch takes so much time that it really is a painful last resort.

There are some simple things you can do to boost your PC performance.  Uninstall software you’re no longer using, do your best to reduce the number of applications that run in the background, defragment your hard drive, and clean up your desktop. (Many people don’t consider that, in order to show you the desktop icons, your computer has to read some information about each file.)  However, a lot of performance issue have much deeper roots, including the Windows registry, broken shortcuts, and temporary files in hidden and system folders.

I’ve tried a variety of different tools to address Windows PC performance issues, and the one I use on all my PC’s is iolo System Mechanic.  There’s no secret to why they continue to win the #1 spot in magazine reviews and receive raving reviews – they live, eat, and breathe PC performance.

iolo also has a great article on their site that is near and dear to my heart entitled, “Letting go of computer clutter.”

iolo is offering their product at 50% off until Feb 25, 2011 at midnight PST. That works out to US $25 for a one-year licence for every PC in your home. They also offer a fully functional free trial.

So if you’ve lost that loving feeling with your PC, take some time on Monday to give it a good cleaning.

[Disclosure: Over the years I have purchased iolo products and they have also provided me with free copies for editorial review. My endorsement is based upon my experience with the product. I do not receive any compensation if you purchase the product.  And yes, I really run it on all my PCs, my wife’s PC, and our family computer.]

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