OK I've reinstalled windows xp (home) three times now. The first time just because I changed some hardware, and the baggage left behind by the old drivers became too annoying.
That particular re-install went fine. Then I had to do it again after my DAW died and I had to swap some RAM. I formatted my system drive, and assumed that when the machine finished doing this it would stop and wait for me to configure my windows installation. Unfortunately this didn't happen. I got back to find windows had installed itself, arranged its own language and time-zone settings and was already running from the hard-drive.
So I started again and this time stayed with it through the whole process. But again I didn't get to configure the installation. I did get to set the time-zone and choose user names and all that garbage. But I remember that the first time I had to re-install I was given complete control over the optional parts of Windows, such as IE, Accessories, Outlook, Networking options etc.
This time I just had to let them install and then uninstall them from the control panel, which, of course, leaves me with less than a clean installation. What am I doing, or not doing, to miss this step in the installation?
I did delete all partitions. In fact I completely formatted the drives. As for whether the re-install was OTT I think that's really my business. Having spent many, many frustrated hours trying to figure out why systems have crashed, only to discover that it was down to old drivers of hardware I'd already sold on, where I'd already used the official uninstaller...
....well basically I think I'm entitled to a certain level of paranoia.