Hi. I have been noticing lately a lot of people getting into trouble and finding they have to make some hard choices about what to do next. I thought I would offer a few suggestions about programs I have that I have found to be invaluable in keeping me out of trouble. As far as having to format and reinstall, I mean. First of all, I use a program called WinRescue. It will back up your registry and system files, so that, if you get the registry messed up during an uninstall or something strange happens, you can simply restore the registry and system files to the last state that you backed them up in. Example: I create a backup with Winrescue. I can then clean the registry with jv16 powertools and SystemSuite. Run a quick defrag with Vopt. Reboot and save the registry again. Now I can install a new program if I like. Try the program for awhile. Lets say I don't like it. Uninstall the program, then do a registry restore with the last saved registry in Winrescue. It will reboot the machine and my registry does not have 50 new entries left from the program I just uninstalled. None of the uninstallers remove all registry entries on an uninstall, so over the long haul, this stops a lot of useless entries from gathering in the registry. I backup my registry every morning first thing after logon. That way if something happens during the day, I can always restore back to that point quick and easy. I always backup before I run my registry cleaners too. I back up the registry before installing any programs. Winrescue can be found at http://www.superwin.com/ . It is not free, but there are free versions of similar programs around. Next thing is that I have partitioned my H/D so that I can make an image directly to my "D" drive. Imaging your "C" Drive and keeping a copy on another partition and/or on bootable CDs is the single best way to make restoring your OS an easy task. Just don't go too long in between images. I recently switched to Acronis TrueImage for my image making. It is awsome. It makes and restores from windows. No need to boot into DOS and work off a floppy. I love it. Can be found here. http://www.acronis.com/products/trueimage/ A little pricey, but worth every penny to me. Restoring from an image can take about three hours usually to get everything back up to date. Format and clean install usually eight hours plus for me. Another program that I would not be without is RegRun. It watches for changes to major keys in the registry and warns when changes have been made. It is very handy for a quick look at registry settings for what is in the startup sections. You can make changes to the registry such as delete, pause, or start. I really use it a lot and would not be without it. Can be found at http://www.greatis.com/regrun.htm for the lite version and for the Suite here, http://www.greatis.com/regrun3.htm . I am not trying to cover every program I have here. Of course everyone needs a good antivirus, antitrojan, spyware checker and firewall. A good system cleaner like SystemSuite or System Mechanic is a must. I use Window Washer to clean up cookies, cache and Windows hidden files. There are many similar programs. What I want to stress is registry backup, image backups, and registry monitoring. Lately I have seen so many people getting bit by IE hijackers, spyware, and corrupted registries I just wanted to say something. If you can just restore your registry to a known good point for your current configuration, you can save yourself so much heartache. I can't tell you how many times I have used Winrescue to get me back up and running in less than three minutes. The alternative would have been to restore an image. That is better than a format and reinstall though. SO for me the deal is simple. I try to have good AV/AT/Firewall protection, but if it fails for some reason, I can bail out with my backups. No major disasters. No formats unless I want to try a new OS or start clean for some reason. WinRescue, Acronis TrueImage, and RegRun 3Gold represent the best of the best to me. If you cannot afford to have all three or do not like them for some reason, please, at least have three similar programs in your arsenal. You will be happy surfers if you do. PS Obviously there are a lot of people that already know this and even more about such stuff than I do. This is for those that are relatively new to the present state of affairs on the net and find themselves not knowing which way to turn when disaster strikes. Better yet, hopefully this will help someone divert disaster. If I have missed something pertaining to disaster prevention, or anyone wants to add to what I have suggested, I would welcome such input. I'm no expert, I'm just sharing what I have learned thru the school of hard knocks.