<<Will reformating his computer help speed up his computer>>
Somewhat...although it's not the primary factor in determining system response. Increasing the RAM installed would provide a more appreciable basis for better performance.http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.asp...avilion%20a375c
<<Will his internet automatically set up if he has a wireless receiver or what should i do if it does>>
If the XP CD has the drivers stored on it, the NIC may be set up immediately. If it does not, then the drivers have to be installed once Windows has set up properly.
If activation is done when initially prompted, the XP CD has the drivers and has installed them (because the NIC must be used to access the activation website). If the user gets a message that activation cannot take place until the connection is properly activated, then the drivers need to be installed by the user.
<<What can i do besides reformatting that will speed up his computer to like new>>
Well...I think that's an unrealistic expectation. Anything 7 years old is not likely to perform as if it were brand new...you, me, our autos, our computer systems.
Any number of components may have been slowed due to nothing but age/use...it's a system with many different elements.
Specs for the system you mentioned: http://www.dealtime.com/xPF-Hewlett-Packar...GB-A375CBEC6719
Nice system...but P4 processors have been outdone by cheap dual-core processors, AGP has been supplanted as video technology by faster onboard and PCI card technologies, DDR has been supplanted by DDR2 and DDR3 (newer boards), and the 2GB max RAM limits the possibility of moving to Vista (which is the present/future Windows O/S).
All that being said...if the user is content with the system and has no perceived need for more...just add more RAM, with the understanding that 2GB is the max.
<<generally what should i do to get his computer up and running fresh and clean with internet>>
A clean install of XP, followed by installation of all drivers (if necessary). With valid license key, of course...the HP license must be used on that system, although you can use any Microsoft XP CD to do the install, as long as it is the same version as the license originally issued. You cannot use an XP Pro CD to clean install or repair install an XP Home system.