Don't Re-install Windows
Unless you have a clue.
I only have a bit of a clue.
This old Dell has been running slower and slower. It's hard drive would chatter away while it figured out what to do. I'd sit in front of the little hourglass slowly going nuts.
Over the last 4 years so much crap has been installed and removed off this poor PC that it doesn't know its arse from its elbow, so I thought a clean install would make things sweet.
I slapped an external hard drive onto it, backed up the whole shebang, and then rebooted it in DELL mode an chose the re-install option.
The good news is that it is much happier.
The bad news is that the back up did me no good whatsoever. Sure, I've got my data, but it's the software that's a pain in the arse.
From the new config I had to re-install the various SPs for Windows XP, download AVG antivirus and remove Macafee. Remove Microsoft works, and discover I don't have Office install CD. Download Java virtual machine, Download Vuze, rip a copy of Office off Pirate Bay and install.
Biggest pain in the arse is all my old mail is incorporated in Outlook Express. Apparantly what I should have done is export all my mail first so that I can import it back into my newly installed Outlook Express.
So, mixed success.