Well, the easy solution is to bite the bullet one more time!
Once you reinstall XP (and update it), then reinstall all of your "must have" apps (including antivirus, antispyware, and firewall software) and update all of it. Then do a Disk Cleanup and a Defragmentation.
Then use imaging software to create an "image" of your hard drive. I only have experience with Acronis True Image and I recommend it highly (but it's $50 US). Once you have the image, it's a simple matter to restore the image and you'll be back up and running within 20 minutes.
The issues here are that the image is made at a certain point - so anything that was done after that point won't be saved (and will be erased). This can be overcome using several different strategies for backing up or redirecting your data. FWIW - I redirect all my data/profiles/etc to a second drive - and include these redirections in my image.
Another problem is the size of the image. On most systems that I've tried it on, it takes up around 6 to 8 gB of space. So I'd suggest an external hard drive to store these images on (or a couple of DVD's). You won't want the images on the same hard drive if you can avoid it (should the hard drive crash, you won't have access to the images. FWIW - I keep my images on a separate hard drive also
You can also do incremental images - which give you the opportunity to "go back" to a certain point. While I don't like them (it's hard to tell exactly when a problem started), others do like them, so it's your choice.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able. - John
(my website: http://www.carrona.org/
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