Went in to add/remove programs to remove some to free up some hard disk space and I noticed there are several update versions of Adobe, is it necessary to have them all or can I just keep the current version?
it's adobe reader 6.0.1, 7.0.9, 2 8.1.1, you get what i'm saying, also adobe acrobat and different updates and 2 photoshops. I've been trying to get my computer to run faster and have done the disk clean up and defragementing but it's till slow, was hoping this might help by getting rid of unused programs.
Killing off your programs will not speed up your computer, it will only free up drive space.
The single biggest cause of computers slowing down (that I have seen) is programs that start with Windows and then disappear from the tray. They are fully loaded and are doing nothing beneficial for you. If they didn't start with Windows you would have that much more free memory to use and Windows wouldn't be wasting time polling them to see if you are trying to bring them up from inactivity.
Microsoft in it's ever-challenged wisdom, has a "feature" to hide those programs from you by default. It is called "Hide inactive icons" and "Group similar taskbar buttons." This makes people go out and buy faster and faster machines they can ill-afford to do, thinking they need a faster machine than they have.
Turn off "Start with Windows" in all programs you don't use all the time. Start those programs when you are actually going to use them.
Enable all tray items to be visible so you can see what is loaded at any time and don't allow grouping of taskbar buttons. Then you can see what gets loaded with Windows and take measures to not start them until you need them.
Start>Settings>Control Panel>Taskbar and Start menu;
Uncheck "Hide inactive icons"
Uncheck "Group similar taskbar buttons"
Now look at the tray is see what's running that you don't need, go to options in those programs and de-select "Start with Windows" or whatever their exact words may be.
Your computer will boot faster and run faster with un-needed programs no longer starting with Windows.
For a slow computer you need to check quite a few things. How many items are running at startup? Is your task bar near the clock filled with icons? Most of which are not needed probably. Have 2 or more anti-virus software running? Computer just too old and the hardware can't run new programs? A re-installation of Windows and a hardware upgrade are the top 2 things to speed up your computer. More RAM, faster hard drive, video card for games, etc...
As Tigsounds posted, removing programs that just sit and do nothing till you start them won't speed anything up.