Clean Up Factory Bloatware
may come in handy in your process. Our expert in Windows installations put it together, and it helps systems run very cleanly.
Glad to see you are moving away from 3rd party tools for optimizing Windows. I have found that the tutorials on these forums are really all we need. There are a couple 3rd party tools we use. If you do want a free 3rd party defrag tool that is trusted: Puran Defrag Free Edition - CNET Download.com
is the way many of us go.
Some of the gurus also use CCleaner for cleaning the registry. I personally avoid it because I still think registry cleaning is bad news regardless of what software does it. It is better to learn about the registry and manually delete entries instead of relying on an automated tool that may delete something vital. Even manually making registry changes, I always make a system image first so I have a good baseline to return to. If you are interested in system imaging:
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
Imaging with free Macrium - the method most of us use
Free Backup Software: Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Edition - Overview