it would appear that i jumped the gun. whilst the deleted files ended up in norton protected recycle bin folder as soon as i closed explorer down all the files that i deleted dissappeared from the recycle folder.
to AL d. sure delete is a bit superfluous when you have norton sw as is mentioned in the question. nsw contains wipeinfo that does the same thing.
Bagpuss i dont really understand how this relates to your earlier thread, and the link to the microsoft kb article, do you have any other utility excersising control over the recycle bin? and did you actually get the icon back?
I suggest that you try running your 98 CD, and tell it to install. It will seem as thought it is completely reinstalling another copy and will probably run for about an hour. However it will just examine your files and folders and replace missing or corrupt ones. You should not loose any data, but a back up to CD of essential files is recommended.