|I use Live CD/DVD's or bootable flash drives or pxe booing. One of the BEST is Knoppix 5.1 cd. openSolaris to Ubuntu also have live cd's that support many usb devices.|
I try to keep some barts/ubcd4win's around too. I can use Vista or W7 with a few tricks but not real easy.
"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10