I finally re-installed Windows 7, this time as my £45 retail version. Here are a few of the freeware goodies I found along the way, which expand/tame Windows Explorer: ThumbView adds Explorer thumbnails of file formats such as .psd, .tif, .psp, .png. .tga (although sadly not .ai or .eps Illustrator files). FastPictureViewer RAW Codec Pack turns Windows Explorer into a basic viewer for RAW image files from expensive digital camera s. FileMenu Tools can remove all the crufty right-click options that you never use.

Also useful for creatives is the .abs Photoshop brushes browser, which isn’t integrated into Explorer — although that’s just as well, as some big brush sets take a minute or more to load. It allows you to export an image of the brushes in each of your brush-sets, which can then be printed out as a reference sheet.