thank you for your reply. it's night time here at my side of the world and have to wait for tomorrow to be able to try your suggestion.:) there's one thing more that's bothering me. i changed "Explorer.exe to Explorer1.exe" by navigating straight to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon and clicked the "shell"value. did it cause more harm to the computer? i can't sleep worrying about it. my office computer is running XP.