Hi there! I'm an absolute newbie. Not just to the forum (great forum, btw), but to PCs as well. I've come from Mac-land and am just getting familiar with Windows. I bought two computers recently. the first is seriously old, and hella cheap, but it does run XP, albeit slowly. It's my back up. never on the internet. the second is the Compaq presario notebook I'm using now. It runs Vista Home Basic. I've only had it a short while, but i've managed to pick up a virus (infostealer.gampass is how norton av identifies it), and i want to erase all the trial software that came with the computer - something like 15 or 20 gb worth. I figure formatting would be the best option, considering how difficult this little virus is to remove (i read the other posts from TS regarding format or fix, and removing infostealer), and i don't want NortonAV if it didn't pick up the virus on the first scan. i would like to reformat the hard drive to new, or emptier than... here's the question (knew I'd get there eventually). Compaqs don't come with the operating system on disc, like my old mac did. i made a 'recovery disc' but a friend told me that i would only be able to use it once, so i feel i should save it for an emergency. if i try to make a new recovery disc, will the virus, and the bundled software come with it? and how do i actually do this reformatting/ reinstalling thing? Everyone I ask just says "Go back to XP!", but where's the progress in that? Geez, lots of questions, no experience. any help is greatly appreciated. thanks!