Booting up with the F8 option and using "Last known good configuration" can be a medium for stress relief. There have been newsletters on the subject, but if you haven't tried it, you don't know what you might be missing. I've used it after installing software that crashed my system, especially device drivers. I've also used it after removing spyware such as 'new dot net' that rendered my NIC helpless. No time consuming registry fixes, knowledge base lookups, or restores from backup were needed!
If you suspect that recently installed software or registry changes to the HKLM\System\CurrentControl\Set have caused your system to malfunction, this tip is definitely worth a try. It might save you hours of troubleshooting.
This was first published in August 2003