This is what I believe transpired...but I'm just guessing, since I've never been in a situation where this can happen.
When you used the install CD, you somehow triggered a new install of XP.
Depending on the CD used for such, users may have an option of backing up the previous existing files and having them saved/stored on the hard drive. This may be represented by what is currently reflected in your Docs & Settings folder of the new install.
If your old profile was retained, I believe that would be the key (although I'm not sure).
You say that you see your old programs, as well as data files. I suspect that you see shortcuts, not programs...Documents & Settings does not normally reflect any program data, although it does reflect the desktop and any shortcuts to programs which may have been on the desktop.
I would go to Control Panel, User Accounts...and see how many and what profiles are currently stored there. Theoretically, you might be able to migrate settings from the old profile to the new...but I don't think that will have any impact on either the registry or installed programs.
In essence...I don't know what is in the file that you mention...or how the backup works. I suspect that the only way to get installed programs to mirror what previously existed...would be to undo the backup which I believe was created.
I don't know how to do that.
It might help someone more knowledgeable than me...if you list the contents or post a screenshot of this Docs & Settings folder which you believe contains your old programs/data. Put the folder in Explorer view before taking a screenshot, please...it's the contents of the folder that will be enlightening, if anything will.
As for data files in any Docs & Settings folder from a previous install...you may have to take ownership
of those folders before you can actually move anything. This is a common, expected consequence.
How to take ownership of a file or a folder in Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308421