Please bear with the long post that I've made here without relating to Windows 7 until the fag end, but, I had to do it to clearly explain the problem I'm facing. I had this dinosaur system of 3 years ago - AsRock K8NF4G-SATA2 MoBo, (GeForce 6100, nForce 410 Chipset) AMD Sempron 2500+ (1.4GHz Single Core) Proc, TwinMOS 1GB DDR400MHz RAM Maxtor 200GB, 7200rpm HDD, ColorsIT 400W SMPS (Some cheap stuff) 17" Samsung CRT Though it was good enough for light work and some very light gaming and still outbeating many of my friend's computers, it was no-way a good PC to have these days. And I being a fan of Vista since its Longhorn days, have been using it on this system for quite sometime and one fine day when decided to dual boot with XP - clearly saw the difference in performance. On XP - It was a breeze to work on but didn't like it due to the minute details which has been paid attention to in Vista like the UAC. Yes, I know what many are thinking at this time but I like Vista for its UAC than anything else. You may have a different opinion and many would but that's you and this is me. Then, for the past couple of months I've been getting terrible performance hits even on XP! Then I booted back into Vista (which was my main OS for everyday tasks) and tried doing data transfer acreoss partitions, within partitions, across Hard-disks (which I obtained from my friend) - and shockingly the speeds that Vista reported were excruciatingly low - 3 to 4 MBps! For some weeks I didn't get the time to analyse the problem but one weekend went to my friend'd place to get some stuff that he had newly downloaded. Had taken my Hard disk to do it. When I connected it to his PC, amazingly I got speeds of over 60MBps! Then I came to the conclusion that it has got something to do with my setup and not the HDD itself. Took it to my Vendor (so that I have all the resources to test various things) and checked each and every single component, plugged into my PC, both individually and in various combinations. To my disbelief, None of it gave any positive results. Then my friend & I decided that its time to get a new rig. Being in this time of economic slowdown coupled with high Dollar to Rupee conversion rated here in India put a deep strain on our budget. Hence, we finally decided on AMD Phenom X3 8450 (2.1GHz) Proc Zotac 8300 MoBo Transcend 2GB DDR2 800MHz RAM Corsair VX450 PSU Segate 7200.11 500GB SATA HDD LG 20x DVD-RW I was exalted on seeing 4digit scores on the GeForce 8300 based chipset when compared to some 200 3DMark06 scores. And as you'd assume, I had Vista installed on it. It worked just fine for a couple of days when I decided to have both Vista and XP but not on dual boot - as in having the boot loader for the 2 OSs in seperate partitions of their own not interfering with each other. So, I made the Vista prtition inactive and made the partition for XP active using Paragon Harddrive manager (The version that's on the MiniPE disk - don't remember, poor memory ) That's all I had done - make one partition active and the other inactive using the right-click context menu offered by the program and Guess What... All my partitions on the HDD except first 3 dissappeared! All my data - Music, Videos, Movies, Personal data - an entire decade's collection - All gone with the click of the button. I knew, the data hasn't got erased - its just that the partition table was screwed. So, tried various tools on the ame MiniPE disk to recover the table but in vain. Then, Finally decided to try recover the data using some recovery tool - again on the same MiniPE disk (God bless Bart and whoever made the MiniPE disk!). Tried them all one-by-one and finally found "Recover-it-All Pro" to be the apt tool for this purpose, used it and recovered all my important data to the 3 partitions that were presently existing. Due to lack of space (on just 3 partitions), I had to recover only my most important data, lost much more. Started all this around 4 O' Clock in the evening and was awake till 1 O' Clock in the morning doing this Circus. Then again after all this Non-Sense, wrote everything recovered to DVDs (about 30 of them - Phew!) and then this time tried doing the same using Vista's own diskpart through command prompt (this was after creating all partitions again using partition magic 8). Guess what... Again... Poof! everything gone! Now only the System partition was left alone. "****!" I thought, and for a while was thinking about the possible cause and the remebered the MoBo saying "Engineering release, Not for retail use" when I booted it for the first time, that was before the BIOS update". So, concluded that it must be something to do with this particular piece of hardware and sent it for replacement. Then once I got it replaced, "Now the PROBLEM ends" you may think, but... My woes continued 4 days ago when I installed "Windows 7 - PreBeta" and then shut it down in the night. When I woke up in the morning, the hard disk failed to get detected. being what I am, checked a whole lot of stuff again, the PSU, the cables - power and SATA (data), tried it on a different cable, on a different PC - The one I had earlier (which became PC2 in the living room and the present one became PC1 in my room), but it failed with all parameters. 2 days prior to this happening, I experienced a slight hit in performance of the HDD but thought it was due to fragmentation and was quiet but it was the HDD itself and it went for a toss. Being just 3 months into the 5 year warranty which seagate offers, took it to the service center for replacement. They said I would get it only after 3 days as it has to come from Chennai - (the city east coast of southern India, whereas I stay in Bangalore - which lies somewhere in the center - Distance b/w the 2 cities being around 350KM). The HDD finally arrived yesterday and I - all excited, installed "Windows 7 PreBeta" not really having had a good taste of it earlier. Touch-wood. Its all working fine even after running for the whole night. Now comes the bugs in Windows 7: 1. After applying a few reg tweaks (which I usually do to get some customisations on Vista) it disabled access to my DVD drive (LOL - I know, I shouldn't have applied those reg tweaks on a PreBeta OS ) Then created another admin user, logged into that a/c and deleted this user ( as I was able to access the drive from that a/c - luckily that reg entry was in HKCU and not HKLM! ). That solved the issue of DVD Drive access last night. 2. This Morning - Continuing with the other problem from last night, I'm yet to find a solution (Please help if you've faced a similar prob). After installing VMWare lite, something has gone wrong with the Windows Installer and I'm not able to install anything else which uses Windows Installer (Error message says Windows Installer service is not accessible or not started). I went ahead and enabled it manually, changed the startup type to automatic (and tried the other 3 types too) but in vain. I tried all the steps given in the Microsoft's Help website - Unregister Windows Installer, and then reregister and all the other steps mentioned here. Now, If I get this solved, perhaps that'll be the las of my problems(hopefully - LOL), so please help! Thanks for reading - I know, such a long and boring post, but if you had found it interesting and love to help then I think you are the right kind of person I should be speaking to.