Have you tried running scandisk while in safe mode?
You can always restore to an earlier date too, if there's a restore point before your troubles started. I disliked windows ME for the same reason - always freezing and having to turn the power off at the mains to get things going again.
Thanks fellas - This initially solved the problem, but now its back again.
Windows will not finish starting in normal mode and just freezes before all the stuff is loaded in the system tray.
I have to turn power off and then restart in safe mode. After scandisk runs it finds no problems, but i've also rum norton disk doctor which fixed some lost clustes and invalid files. Ive run adaware and spybot in safe mode but these have not made any difference.
Is it time for a format and new installation of windows. I've had this pc for 5 years now and Its probably bloated. If so is it worth using my 40gb slave as a master?