Windows Vista is just like any other operating system in that it uses a whole variety of temporary storage that must be cleaned occasionally. Luckily, Vista makes cleanup of residual files a breeze with its disk cleanup wizard.
You can access the disk cleanup wizard by navigating to Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Cleanup. Once you are here you can choose to clean up files for just your user account or for all accounts on the machine (administrative privileges required). Some of the files you will want to clean up often are downloaded program files, contents of the hibernation file, Microsoft Office temporary files, offline files, recycle bin contents, setup log files, system error memory dump files, temporary internet files, the system temp directory, media thumbnails, and windows error reporting logs.
Chris Sanders is a network consultant for KeeFORCE, one of the most popular network consulting firms in western Kentucky. Chris is the author of the book Practical Packet Analysis as well as several technical articles. His personal website at www.chrissanders.org contains a great deal of information, articles, and guides related to network administration, network security, packet analysis, and general information technology.