I know some of you that read this are also fellow System Administrators whether personally or professionally so I thought I might share one of my favorite tips...
Grab an extra flash drive (2GB or higher will be plenty) fill it with it with some of these programs I've found helpful in the past.
Sysinternals Suite: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals.
You can grab the entire 13MB suite from here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb842062
A few of my favorites:
Process Explorer: It's like the Windows Task Manager on steroids - lots of information. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653
Process Monitor: This one shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity. It came in handy recently when a nasty piece of malware had disabled access to the Task Manager as well as Process Explorer. So I used this to locate the offending exe http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645
PsKill: Command line utility for killing processes in Windows. Used it in conjunction with Process Monitor to disable that malware long enough to delete it. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896683
TCPView: Shows you a detailed listing of all TCP and UDP endpoints on your system. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897437
Portable Apps: http://portableapps.com/apps
Applications that do not require a traditional install and can be run off of something like a flash drive. You can download and customize your on suite of apps here: http://portableapps.com/download
A few of my favorites:
Firefox: Have your favorite browser with you at all times. http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable
Chrome: Ok I know all of you don't love Firefox... http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/google_chrome_portable
ClamWin AV: AntiVirus you can carry with you. http://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/clamwin_portable
Foxit PDF Reader: For the random system you come across that DOESN'T have Adobe Reader on it (or doesn't need it for security purposes) http://portableapps.com/apps/office/foxit_reader_portable
PuTTY: My favorite Windows Telnet/SSH client. http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/putty_portable
Hiren's Boot CD: http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd
Bootable CD with MANY great tools for diagnosing a system outside of Windows - it even comes with it's own bootable Windows install that runs off RAM. Download it here: http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/ and throw it on a CD or USB flash drive.