Keepin' it clean. (The computer that is.)
Windows XP automatically creates a restore point from time to time so that if you ever get in trouble you can always return to the "good ole days," say yesterday, when your system worked properly.
I like to go into system tools and create my own restore point whenever I have made major overhauls in the system. When you create your own you can attach a little message like "erased a lot of old files, defragged, ran anti-virus," etc. When you save the restore point xp automatically gives it a time and date stamp. This has saved my biscuits a couple of times.
Boy you just can't have enough tools. After gaining some hard drive space by erasing a bunch of junk, I then ran "AdAware," no problems, then ran "TrojanHunter," no problems, "AVG anti-virus" runs automatically every day, no problems.
Then I ran "SpyBot Search and Destroy," guess what? It found 12 occurances of nuiscance spyware. Actually there were mutiple occurances of a couple of them but they were; advertising.com, AvenueA Inc, Bfast, DoubleClick, FastClick and MediaPlex. I have no idea what any of these do and they are probably not critical but I do NOT want the damned things on my computer!
Anyway, I removed them, and will live to fight another day.
Clean your machine, backup your data, defrag, create a restore point, life is good.