Now that I've completed setting up the linux box, it was time to clean up the windows box since it'll now be used for a different purpose. Setting up Linux was very quick and easy despite FC5 occupying 6 CDs. Windows XP comes on 1 CD and it should be noted that it's being installed on an older computer then the Linux box.
The first thing I had to do was install Windows 2000 since I only had the Windows XP Upgrade CD. For some reason, the Windows Upgrade CD wouldn't boot directly on the computer so I was forced to go through this process (the Win2k was also an upgrade but I can boot and just put in win98 when it asked for verification of an older version of Windows). Once Win2k was up, I used it to start the WinXP installer. I probably could've found the answer somewhere on the web, but the installer automatically copied setup files to the C:\ partition which I didn't want since I wanted to format that cleanly before installing WinXP. With the setup files on C:\, I couldn't format the partition while I was in Windows. So, I basically had to boot into win2k, clean up the files on the C:\ partition, install winXP, then delete the Win2k stuff since it still took up space. This process took roughly 1.5 hours.
Once Windows XP was up, I was prompted to activate it. I put in the product code and... no go. It tells me to call Microsoft. Windows XP was previously on this computer and I'm just reinstalling but I guess MS feels I need their approval. So, I call their number, goes through the process and they tell me a long series of numbers to enter and now Windows is "activated".
Similiar to what I did after I installed Fedora, I immediately went to get all the updates for Windows. With FC, it was a simple "yum update". With Windows, it was Windows Update, but first it needed to figure out what updates I needed. The first two sets were patches that required a reboot each time. On the third update (each update is manually initiated by me), it began to download Windows XP SP2 followed by a long install (long enough for me to leave the computer, do something else and come back right when it finished). Another reboot and it was time to get more updates. I lost track of how many more reboots it required but after about 5 hours, Windows XP installation was done! Now I remember why I've been so reluctant to reinstall windows... I'm almost afraid to use it until I can come up with a good backup system/restore disk so that I don't have to go through the process again! I think there are options such as Norton Ghost but if there are other solutions, please let me .