Nice of Hurricane Fay to give me some time to update my 'Backbone' computer. This is a 1998 Gateway which still has the original case & floppy drive. It was originally delivered with 1st edition Win 98. This I updated to 98 SP 1 when it came out. Shortly after that I added larger HDs, always cloning the previous to the next.
I skipped ME & 2000, but did update to XP Pro and all subsequent SPs. In all this time, I always 'cloned' up or updated on the existing system. OK, it's 2008, ten years of never doing a complete clean-up and the registry probably looked like a car engine that had never had an oil change.
The back breaker was using the Scanner. I had to shut down my Zone Alarm AV & Adware functions in order to start the scanner software. ZA was just using too many clock cycles and you could see it clearly in Task Manager & Process Explorer.
All important files and programs were available on my Vista Desk top & Laptop so I could wipe clean without really losing anything. I had two 40g drives available so I just completely removed the 80g & 10g (used for swap file). I installed one 40g. (You know the song, Fdisk, Format - Reinstall.) With XP Pro sp1 & immediate update to sp2 & sp3. After that, AVG virus scanner, PC Tools Firewall Plus, my original, tried & true Office 2000, SysInternals, Firefox& ACDC etc.
After everything was in, running and fully updated, I took my second 40g disk, and cloned the first on to the second and then swapped drives. So the drive I just built is on the shelf as an emergency replacement & the clone is now happily whirring away in my 'Gateway'. I'm going to hold the 80g drive 'loaded' on the shelf for a while in case I need to re-install it.
Best of all, if I want to Scan, I can do so directly without having to shut down something else in order to do it. When not doing that, I can watch Hurricane Fay as it proceeds merrily on it's Florida Vacation. What do you do on a rainy day?