Hi, Firstly I hope I am posting in the right forum! I recently reinstalled windows XP Pro and made a mess of it and so am going to do it again today. My HD is partitioned already. I am hoping that I can reinstall windows to its partition and still have access to my data etc on the other partitions. My concern is that I may have contracted a virus the last time I reinstalled. I made a real mess of the job and don't know whether I've got a virus or have so badly done the reinstall that software conflicts etc were just screwing everything up. I have since read guides from www.radified.com and others and will make a better job of it this time. I guess what I am asking is this - how safe is it to carry on installing windows and not deleting the old partitions? I did make sure that I had a firewall and antivirus installed before I went onto the web and suspect most of the problems i've had are software conflicts. Really I want to try and avoid losing my data. Also my outlook archive and money file were backed up on an external HD. How likely is it that that would be compromised if I do have a virus. If it is, how do I get back the data on it without transferring the virus to the desktop. (The drive is formatted to FAT32 and I have a laptop running Ubuntu - don't know if I can copy the files to ubuntu then send them to the internet for checking?) Any thoughts would be a help. Will.