thanks... i reinstalled vista without any dramas. i then installed all the programs and add-ons i thought were causing the problem (one by one to determine the fault)... nothing. its working fine. i havent installed any of the windows updates because i think it might be one of them. is my thinking justified? if so what should i do?
Well...try creating a sytem restore point where you are presently with your new installation. Then I would go ahead and get all the MS updates including SP1. SP1 especially improves your Vista installation quite a lot. It address Superfetch and a host of other performance related issues.