My comp used to be so fast and it's like I'm running on dial up speed now. I don't want to spend $ to have it serviced so I guess I'm just looking for cheaper alternatives. I think I just have too many programs constantly running on my comp, but I don't know enough about computers to rectify that.
Have you read this topic:Slow Computer?
Regarding the Registry, unless you have a specific problem you're trying to correct, it's best to stay out of the Registry.
Registry cleaners mark entries as bad, depending on what the software creator thinks, is bad.
That's why no 2 cleaners will find all of the, same "problems".
Registry "problems" actually have very little effect, on the overall performance of the operating system.
Please see this article:XP Fixes Myth #1: Registry Cleaners
If you're not experienced with working in the registry, and judging by your comments, you're not, DO NOT ATTEMPT IT
Improper changes to the registry could render your computer inoperable.
If you do insist on using Registry cleaners, ALWAYS backup the registry BEFORE making any changes.
Instructions, on how to do that, can be found here:How to back up, edit, and restore the registry(I highly recommend, you make a copy of this article.)