I've since been reinstalling drivers, software, service pack 4, oh and I patched up that worm everybody's rabbiting on about, not that I needed too as it turned out that said software had succesfully found and removed it. Which was nice. Anyway now I have a stack of old .exes which I dont know what to do with. The main virus was called 'parite' - never heard of it. It didn't seem to do anything malicious other than spread to.. everywhere. Web literature also says its more or less harmless. I'm beginning to think it was pointless going to such lengths to get rid of it if it did nothing but it's done now. I have a lot of .exes I'm not sure what to do with because they're infected. I'll just have to find a disinfecting programme and repair what ones I want to keep and bin the rest I suppose.
I got antivirus software mainly because my computer was being a bit slow and lethargic, in particular there was a problem where explorer.exe wouldn't shut properly at closedown. Not sure if the virus was the cause but its nice to be protected now I've got AV software installed. Hopefully things will be a bit smoother from now on
Anyway, far too much computing for one night - off to bed!