(This is obviously just some random person's opinion, and not advice from any major software company.)
Logoff/Logon, instead of rebooting
Windows occasionally gets into a weird state where, well, things just stop working - the start menu doesn't launch some apps anymore, clicking links in Internet Explorer doesn't work, context menus stop working, etc.*
Instead of rebooting Windows to get things working again, try logging out and logging back in. When Windows (and the apps that plug into the Windows shell) get into some weird state, you don't need to reboot; a logoff shuts down the Windows Explorer, and a logon loads it again.
Instead of wiping and re-installing Windows**:
The Windows registry consists (simplifying here) of two parts: HKLM (machine settings) and HKCU (your user settings)
When Windows gets into a weird state, you can mostly fix all the issues by deleting HKCU (by deleting the user profile), instead of reformatting the disk (which, obviously, gets rid of HKLM and HKCU)
(Translation for Unix types: This method is about the same as deleting all the .* files in ~, I guess.)