I wrote last week about the major headache I am having with my very recently-purchased Vista enabled laptop. I've been doing quite a lot of research since then and apart from confirming what I had already found out (that I am not alone in having problems with this new operating system - the range of problems is many and varied and I seem to have a lot if not all of them!), I have been in touch with various people more expert than me.
In summary, the 'solution' appears to be to re-install the whole operating system, drivers and utilities. I am pretty good about doing regular back-ups anyway, but it seems that provided I stop the machine going on-line (by switching off the wi-fi connection) I can use it in a limited fashion, so have been able to copy various items that hadn't already been backed-up, so I got that done about an hour ago.
Right now I am in the process of doing a full re-installation from the back-up disks supplied with the machine; obviously all the anciliary software (some free, some paid for disk versions, some paid for and downloaded over the internet [let's hope the product licence keys will let me download again!]) will need to be re-installed and of course all my data will be lost from this machine and will need to be restored from my back-up copies.
Possibly part of the problem has arisen because Vista is (apparently) so different from earlier versions such as XP that a lot of anciliary software does not work on the new operating system - so I will not be re-installing certain software I have used for a while and wished to continue to use; I'll have to find other options for this. If the re-installation works, well and good, but if there are recurrent problems I may consider trying to 'downgrade' back to XP; all this is for later, though ...