for real guides here is some things all safe & easy to do.
1. start - control panel - check add & remove programs & remove ones you find out are malicous or you don't use.
2. start - run - msconfig - startup tab - uncheck as many as you can, i uncheck everything except zone alarm firewall and i run my virus & spyware scans manually, research startup items at www.processlibrary.com
3. start - run - services.msc - hit enter - double click and disable any unnecessary services, research which services to disable at http://www.theeldergeek.com/
basically, for home pc's I recommend disabling asp.net state service, clipbook, error reporting, INDEXING SERVICE (important to disable this one), infrared monitor, machine debug manager, netmeeting remote desktop sharing, network dde, network location awareness, performance logs & alerts, remote desktop help, remote registry, ssdp discovery, telnet, terminal services, uninteruptable ps, volume shadow copy, webclient, windows user mode driver framework.
4. apps i recommend
avg free anti virus
spybot, adware, spyblaster, ccleaner, hijack this
*install firefox and use firetune to make firefox faster than ****
use TCP Optimizer 2.03 to get the most out of your internet connection
now open & run ccleaner, let it delete the unneeded files just write down your passwords first cuz you'll lose them, click issues to scan for issues, fix all selected issues & save a backup of it.
next run Erunt
let it reboot your system
run hijack this and save a logfile, then go to www.hijackthis.de
and fix any issues it tells you you need to fix.
update your antivirus & all anti spyware and run them about once a week.
It will be very important to defragment your hard drive after all of this, and remember to defrag your hard drive after installing or removing any large files.
if you have spyware that these programs cannot delete hit start - run - msconfig - boot.ini - select safeboot - reboot in safe mode and re-run the programs & you should be able to delete it now.