Can't afford a new PC? These free tools for Windows will help breathe new life into your old machine.

In these hard economic times, no doubt you'll be reluctant to spend on a new PC. But what do you do if your ageing PC is sluggish, with a hard disk that's almost full to bursting?

Well fear not, The good news is you can completely overhaul your system without spending a penny with these 15 free downloads.They'll get you more hard disk space, give your PC an overall tune-up, monitor your hardware for potential problems and more.

Do a quick-and-dirty system tune-up

An easy way to get your PC in better shape is by giving it a one-step system tune-up. The following two programs do everything from stopping unnecessary programs from running at start-up, to fixing Windows Registry problems, to cleaning up the hard disk and more.

Advanced SystemCare Free

This excellent all-around system cleaner from will help keep your PC humming. It takes an 'everything plus the kitchen sink' approach, scanning your system for spyware, Registry problems, privacy dangers, and junk files that were once needed by your system but are no longer necessary.

You can then tell the program to clean up everything it finds or pick and choose what you want it to fix.

Note that the software will install the Yahoo Toolbar by default, so if you don't want it installed, make sure to uncheck the box during installation.

Works with: Windows 2000/XP/Vista

Glary Utilities

Glarysoft's do-it-all utility offers plenty of ways to help make sure your old PC keeps running despite the ravages of time. To start, there's a good Registry cleaner, hard disk cleaner, and a shortcut fixer that will correct any shortcut error it finds on your desktop or Start menu.

In addition, there's a nice start-up manager that shows every process or program that launches when you log into Windows, and provides details about each, including whether any might be dangerous.

There's more as well, including a lot of tools that won't necessarily extend the life of your PC, but will make it easier to use, or offer you useful features. For example, there's a file shredder, a duplicate file finder and a context menu manager for editing the right-click context menu that appears when you click a file. You'll also find encryption tools, ways to clean up your Internet traces and a lot more.

Works with: Windows 2000/XP/Vista

  1. Breathe life into your machine
  2. Rein in applications
  3. Autoruns and Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI)
  4. Clean your Registry
  5. Clean your hard disk
  6. Duplicate Music Files Finder and Easy Duplicate File Finder
  7. Troubleshoot hardware
  8. Get a new operating system