I would avoid exporting personal settings, etc as they may have been corrupted and transferring them will cause problems that are difficult to solve. Just backup your data and leave the settings for when you reinstall Windows. This is especially true if you suspect an infection. Don't forget to scan the backed up data with an updated antivirus program in case there's any of them hiding in your data folders.
In Windows XP there's a folder named "Documents and Settings".
In that folder are your user profiles along with several other profiles
- All Users is the profile that everyone uses when logging on - so there may be stuff stored in the Shared Documents/Pictures/etc folders there
- Default User is used to setup profiles - but nothing should be stored in there.
- There's likely an Administrator profile that may or may not have stuff in it
- Check the My Documents folders on the other profiles to see if it contains stuff that you need.
At work we find it simpler to backup the entire Documents and Settings folder if there's sufficient storage space available.
Also, if you use an email client (like Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Thunderbird, etc) you'll want to backup your emails. If you get your email on the web (like from Yahoo, MSN, gMail, etc) then this won't be necessary unless you've downloaded it to your computer.
Also, I've found that some tax/accounting software may not save to your My Documents folders - so if you use that sort of program I'd check and see where it's stored in order to back it up.
Although I'm not familiar with this device, I use one at work from CoolDrives that sounds similar. It has a power adapter that plugs into the device. And, it has 2 USB plugs in the event that the drive needs more power than 1 USB port can provide. It also has a power switch built in. The sequence that I use at work is to leave everything unplugged until I mount the hard drive in the device. Then I connect the external power cord, then I plug in both of the USB ports, then I turn the Power switch to the On position.
As for removing the hard drive - ensure that the laptop is unplugged and the battery has been removed. Handle the hard drive as little as possible when removing it, and if you must hold it, hold it by the sides.
The hard drive may be screwed into a housing when you remove it. If you can use the adapter without taking it out of the housing, then do so - otherwise you'll have to unscrew the housing. Also, some laptop hard drives have adapters on their plugs - so if it doesn't look like an IDE/SATA connector you'll have to remove the adapter. Be careful to pull it straight out or you may damage the plug.
Here's a link to the Dell page for removing the hard drive from the computer: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/syst...0.htm#wp1130375