Warning and disclaimer: do not do this if you don't know what you are doing!!!! If you mess something up because you did not follow my instructions, I cannot be held responsible for your actions - Do this at your own risk.
From any folder:
On the menu bar,
- Click [Tools]
- Select [Folder Options] (A dialog should pop up)
- Select the [view] tab.
- There should be a list below titled: Advanced Settings.
- In this list, scroll down until you find the "Hidden files and folders" line.
- Put a tick in the "Show hidden files and folders" radio button.
- Also, scroll a few more lines to "Hide Protected operating system files (Recommended)"
And un-check it if it is checked.
- Hit Apply to save the changes.
Next, go to "My Computer" (from the Start Menu or Desktop).
Open the C drive (Or whatever the OS drive is) and look for folders with "Recycle" in them.
Open any that can be opened and select all the files and then hit delete (or right click and delete) everything in these folders. Should be something like "recycler - s1-s2-3-2-1...blahblah.." or something like that. Go ahead and delete each one individually. These are essentially just backups of the recycle bin.
Some files will not let you delete them, and others will. This is fine. We want to delete the ones that can be deleted because they are most likely the ones causing all the trouble. The ones that won't delete are ones in use by the system and are fine to leave because they hold the current recycle bin.
Do this for every logical drive in "My Computer" if you have more than a "C" drive.
Once you have completed the above, go to the "real" Recycle Bin on your desktop and empty it. You should see the files you deleted sitting in there. Once the bin is empty, you should be all set.
Make sure to go back to the folder options and change the settings back to where they were to hide the hidden and protected files or else you will see all the ugly system files in all your folders. If you delete any of them, you may cause damage to the system.
Enjoy your much faster shutdown!