Here's my version of how to clean your computer (I do this every season):
1. Make a backup of every user's files (word, powerpoint, etc...) and classify them by their username then by file type.
2. Download drivers for the major hardware and other stuff (graphics card, sound card, printer, scanner, monitor, etc...). Place all of them in one folder called drivers.
3. Download all the software you need (AIM, Yahoo, winzip, etc...) and put them all in one folder called software.
4. Burn everything up to this point to a cd.
5. Take out a piece of paper and write down the total size of your harddrive(s). Calculate how you will use your harddrive(s):
I suggest that the startup drive have the following partitions:
Partition 1-->5 GB (Win XP and system files ONLY)
Partition 2-->The rest will be for programs ONLY
If you have only one harddrive, reserve 5 GB, as stated, and make the rest of the harddrive for programs, paging file, and all the other stuff
I suggest that the other harddrive have the following partitions:
Partition 1-->5 GB (containing a 1 GB paging file, a repository for keeping your documents, and storing your print jobs [optional] )
Partition 2-->10 GB (containing ONLY the Drivers, software, and copy all the major applications from CDs to this partition (MS Office, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc...).
Partition 3--> Use the remaining size to store your internet downloads and what not
(Tip: Download this converter to get the MB value: http://www.joshmadison.com/software/convert/
6. Insert the WinXP CD and restart.
7. Delete all the partitions on all harddrives. Create multiple partitions using your "drive map" in step 5.
8. Format the ALL YOUR HARDDRIVES to be NTFS QUICK (otherwise you will be waiting forever)
9. Unplug everything except the computer, mouse, monitor, and keyboard.
10. After WinXP install is finished, put your "drive plan" from step 5 into effect by copying the files from the CD to their respective places.
11. Change the appearance of WinXP to suit your taste (optional)
12. CLEAR THE PAGING FILE ON THE STARTUP DRIVE. Set the paging file to 1024 MB and set it to the 5 GB partition on the other harddrive. This is to improve performance.
13. After everything is done, restart the computer so all the changes can be made.
Benefits - only for those with multiple Harddrives:
The next time you have to restore the computer, you wont have to go through the backup phase. Also, you wont have to redownload the drivers and keep switching cds... You can just run the setup from the harddrive. And the installation process will be faster since it is installing from harddrive.
Also, you can restore the computer by just installing a clean, NTFS Quick formatted, copy of WinXP over the C: drive... Your documents will not be affected since you'd save them to the other harddrive. But before restoring the computer, you must remove any encryption from your documents.