Reinstalling is a good idea so do some preparation and planning.
I would not count on making an XP installation CD from an existing system.
Systems that are store bought or second hand sometimes do not come with genuine XP installation media so like hamluis says - you can contact the manufacturer and they may send/sell you one
(<-- not at hamluis)
There is nothing wrong (illegal) with you finding someone that has a genuine bootable XP installation CD and making a copy of it and using the licence information from your current installation to reinstall with your copy of the installation CD. You can't legitimately use someone else's license information, but your XP should already have a license so you need to figure out what it is before you reinstall.
Before you reformat, retrieve you current XP installation license using one of many popular third party tools like this one:http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/
I like to run that and print or write down all the licence info it finds since it will tell you about more things than just XP. Try it now! Keep the information with your installation medias. The information for XP may be on a sticker attached to a store bought system - but don't count on it and the tool will tell you exactly what it is with certainty.
You will be ahead of the game in the long run to have something that you know is real - believe me! If you don't have the license information before you reinstall you may not find much sympathy from others either. It is best to play it safe and be legit.
Here are some links about a method to crate a CD but I have not tried it and you can investigate if your system is like the examples shown. I would just find a CD long enough to make a copy though - to be sure.
Create a bootable XP CD from a pre installed OEM OS system that has an i386 folder.
The will allow you to slip stream SP3 into a copy of the current i386 folder.http://www.howtohaven.com/system/createwin...setupdisk.shtml
Some say it is not possible:http://www.askdavetaylor.com/can_i_create_...llation_cd.html
Edited by joseibarra, 09 March 2010 - 04:12 PM.