so I'm thinking of replacing it with a 128GB SSD. Once that's in, I'll do a clean install of Windows, add software one program at a time, and give each program a day or so to show any instability. If there's an easier (or quiicker) way to do that, I'd like to know about it.
SSD is a good idea. When you buy and before installing, post back on this thread and we will give advice on setting things up. You have the right method for program installation, no real short cut if you want to be thoroughly, I always set a manual restore point before each alteration, providing you are using the rig for a couple of hours, no need to wait a week between installs.
If you think you now have a stable system, you should create an image of the OS drive and a recovery disk.
You can gain some performance increase by disabling some programs that start with window, like Office, Nero, etc, I create a short cut on the desktop first. Try then in the program setting to disable the, start with window, This Tutorial may help. > http://www.sevenforu...ams-change.html
You can run IE inside Firefox or Chrome, > http://www.ietab.net/home
I have made Chrome the default browser.
If you do get any BSOD, note down what you were doing at the time.