James, thanks for the reply - any help is always appreciated! I read the thread, but the only advice in it I didn't try was the age old re-format & re-install. When I was younger, I'd think nothing of whiling away the hours backing up & re-installing. Now I've been using a PC for over a decade, I can't help thinking there must be a more elegant solution. My problem is definately firewall orientated, I can install Sygates' personal jobbie, but while the service runs, the icon in the system tray is unavailable. I can work around this by re-installing on each reboot because the Sygate installation doesn't require a reboot, whereas the Zone Alarm one does (natch). This is probably something amiss with the registry, but I need some pointers if anyone has them for me.