Hello WSF - I have been a lurker off an on for awhile and now have decided to join so I could hopefully benefit from your expertise. I am an XP3 user but I have a store bought copy of Vista I haven't used yet (builder gave me a downgrade.) Mainly because I am still undecided about whether or not I should use it and I am more familiar with the XP environment. I am probably between a Novice and Intermediate. To make a long post short, I am going to do a clean install of XP PRO SP3. But this time around I want to run it even safer if possible. I sandbox, surf safe, have paid versions of my malware, SAS and AV scanners, don't use P2P pgms, followed the MG forum advice on malware protection but I just "have a feeling" from recent events ( i.e. Online Armor asking if cmd.exe could run after Sandboxie logs down, etc. when it never has before) something is not right. So if I could get some forum advice on the following I am very grateful: Securing XP - I have the Kelly XP checklist on what services/policies/ to change albeit it was a 2006 list.If there is another good recent checklist on how to secure XP SP3 please share. Also any clean install tips? Can I get rid of the hidden user groups and are there consequences to doing so? (i.e. SYSTEM. Local Account, Power User etc.) MOST IMPORTANT - How can I protect the registry? I know most security forums don't recommend cleaners esp. for the novice but how can you protect it from hidden processes & software bloat? What is the best way to set up the file sharing system between the limited acct. and the admin acct. for safety but also access? I notice if I allow read & execute for one thing it may not necessarily run or the thumbnails don't show correctly. Any firewall (router) tips or tweaks? And last but not least, should I just give up on XP and try Vista? If so why? Thanks for all of your help to these important questions as I will be "hunting and gathering" and doing the clean install very soon. *Admins if this is in the wrong area, my apologies.