Final spyware solution
Last night, had the unpleasant pleasure of contracting some pretty nasty spyware. Even through I've run numerous spyware removal tools, I still notice a few things here and there. I'm kind of a software purist... never believe anything is completely gone unless you format and reinstall. The problem with that is it is a major pain.
Finally think I've figured out how to keep my setup fully clean without the hassle of reinstalling. Use Norton Ghost to create an image of my hard drive after a fresh install with all my applications. Anytime I manage to catch something or screw something up, simply restore the image and I am back to where I was in no time.
I have two hard drives, a 36gb and a 200gb that I use for movies/mp3s/archived data/virtual machines. Cleaned that drive up, since I had a lot of old crap. Use it to store my Ghost images and also going to have my Favorites and My Documents redirected to it. The idea is all programs on the main drive, all data on the second drive. That way at any point, I can restore the image and be right back where I was. I typically don't install many new programs, but if I do, I can easily do a differential image or simply take a new snapshot.
After farting around for a while, I managed to get a BartPE bootable Windows XP image together with Ghost and everything I need. I couldn't use the Ghost Boot Wizard, since my system has no floppy drive and I don't have a USB floppy (who uses floppies?). And it doesn't support burning them to CD. Also, my Dell system uses Serial ATA drives, so I'd need those drives. Used my Dell XP CD to generate the BartPE image, copied over the drivers it missed, and tested it out with Virtual PC. Once I got it to boot in Virtual PC, burned it to disk, rebooted, and quick-and-easy Ghost imaging.
So... kind of an unproductive day after dealing with spyware, dealing with issues from the Community Server 1.0beta3 release, cleaning out my system, and setting up Ghost. But... should be top of my game again soon. Just need to find the time to reformat this weekend.