Having gleaned references to your problem over some years browsing PCA rather than any personal experience, please take this to be a personal opinion only.
The bottom line is that most manufacturers recovery programs will only reset the operating system to the way it first was.
Such recovery systems may stall when there has been a considerable peiod of use just because the system has updated, leaving you stuck!
It [Recovery system] may be unable to find files that have changed by periodical updating.
It will not clear any redundant or possibly corrupt installations, and may lose data which "gets in the way"
You can still buy a proper copy of XP (if that's what you are using) from a few retailers and this is the only way to clear the drive and have a nice fresh installation.
(If you do this, then FIRST you must have motherboard drivers and installation disks for any other software and have copied all data to somewhere like an external HD before you Format.)
The cheaper alternative is a lot of work, and that is step by step, clearing unused data, applications and temporary files.
High or first on the list, should be thorough use of anti malware.
It is hard, but you do have a choice.