IMO, this becomes a matter of balancing the time it'll take to fix everything against the time it'll take to do a reinstall.
Other factors are the amount of learning you'll get from repairing things, the amount of time and effort it takes to backup all of your stuff, how willing you are to sit through the Windows updates again, and how much stuff you'd have to restore.
A fresh format and installation of Windows will let you start out fresh - but you won't have everything that you've installed on the system. You'll also have to import all the stuff that you've backed up.
So, now's a good time to discuss imaging utilities. If you image your hard drive once the fresh format and reinstall is done (along with importing all of your settings and reinstalling all your programs) you'll be able to use that image in the future to restore the computer much faster than a format and reinstall would take. FWIW - I use Acronis True Image ($50 US) for this and it's great - 20 minutes and I'm back up and running.
Since you're contemplating a format and reinstall, you don't have much to lose if you try a repair install of Vista. This "should" keep your programs and settings intact, while replacing the Windows system files with those on the disk. Don't forget to visit Windows Update immediately afterwards tho' - you'll have to reinstall the updates after the repair install: http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/88236-re...tall-vista.html
Let us know what you decide and how things work out.
EDIT: Sorry for the delay, I posted this at 6am - and my internet connection went out at the same time - found it when I got home from work
Edited by usasma, 02 October 2007 - 02:48 PM.
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