<<When I put the windows xp disc into the laptop (logged in) it gives me several optios including ‘install xp’ but none that say ‘uninstall’ or ‘remove and reinstall’. I am worried that if I follow through with ‘install’ I will end up with 2 copies of XP on my laptop and in a worse position that when i started!>>
There is no way to "uninstall Windows", the partition ximply needs to be deleted after the install routine shows your detected hard drives and Windows install
You can review the following for what should be taking place
. Scroll down to Steps To Clean Install XP
and begin reading there.
XP Clean Install, Stevens - http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/cleanxpinstall.html