First for "Sparky": Yes, I concede that it maybe that there was nothing wrong with ME in the first place. But what puzzles me, is why one Microsoft programme should cause so much trouble for another of the same breed?

To prove the point, yesterday I made one of my periodic visits to Hotmail to delete my 'spam'. This morning I found that all the old problems had returned and when I checked, MSNSGS had invited itself back to the Start-up group. Deselect, reboot and things are now sweet again.

So, I think Hotmail and MSN will have to go - permanently.