Thanks for your help. It is as I feared, that I will need to re-install.
You've suggested that I carry out a repair reinstall. My computer is a Dell Inspiron 530 with Vista Home Premium and 250Gb HDD RAID1. Dell provide a factory reinstall feature from a separate partition on the HDD, and I wonder whether that would be good option.
My HDD is a 250 Gb HDD with a second HDD using RAID 1 to create a mirror disk. The primary disk has three partitions as follows C: D: = Dell Backup, and E: = Dell Recovery. The D: partition is used by Norton Save and Restore for local backups; I don't use the E: partition at all so it should still contain the Dell factory image. Btw, I assume that when factory settings are restored this includes any pre-installed applications.
I have never reinstalled Vista and before I do so I would like get answers to the following questions:
1. Will a factory re-install reformat the C: drive only or the whole HDD?
2. Will a factory re-install restore the system exactly as was on delivery including all pre-installed applications such as MS Office, McAfee, and Norton etc.?
3. If a re-install preserves the D: Backup partition will it be possible to retore folders and files from there or will the process of recovery affect Norton Save & Restore settings in such a way that the application will no longer be able to 'see' existing backups? In other words will the process of restoring the C; drive affect Norton in any way. For example, if Norton is restored on the C; drive as a result of the factory re-install, are there any Norton files on the C: drive that will be overwritten by a re-install, thus preventing Norton from 'seeing' the pre-existing backup files in D:?
I look forward to receiving any help and advice you can offer.