I got my Dell in '08. It being a Dell, it had a shit-ton of extra software on it. I turned off and uninstalled what I could find in a cursory sweep, and never got around to bothering with the rest.
Now, the hard drive has been replaced, and I had to reinstall all the software. I found there was nothing on the "Drivers and Utilities" disc I needed. I knew there was a lot of bullshit on the old drive, but had no idea how much.
Honestly, it looks like very little of Vista was actually operating without some Dell plugin. Basic functions look and operate completely differently, and, in all the cases so far, much more direct for someone who doesn't need a Dell utility to hold their hand. I haven't put anything but the software (of my choosing--aside from the webcam driver, none of it from Dell) on yet, but I can already tell it's a shit-ton faster, not only faster than before it died, but faster than when we got it because there's not all this extra shit running constantly!
I would've done this eons ago if I realized what a big deal it was.
*--For behavior unbecoming anyone, perpetrated in real time over an extended--AH, FUCK IT! MORE MALIBU, BITCHES!!