Soon I am getting my new build, which will be my first ever custom computer. After I get it, what do I do? I know this is a very "newb" question but I just want to know sure. I start with installing XP, then I flash my mobo, and then I install the drivers for all my components. Is there a drive for every single thing? Previously I just installed the mainboard, graphics and sound-card ones. If someone would take time to explain this to me step-by-step I would greatly appreciate it.
You only need to reflash the BIOS if you are having a problem or know of one (check the user forums here or on the mobo manufacturers website).
Depending on your setup, you need to decide how to partition your drives - if you have 2 separate drives and don't plan to stripe, I suggest you install XP on the fastest one, in a small boot partition of say 30 gigs, and set the swap file to the other physical drive.
XP MCE has a lot of updated drivers and support if that is the version you are using. However you should still go to your hardware manufacturers websites and at least check the latest drivers. Be aware that sometimes the latest drivers can cause problems with older software - that's why they come out with even later drivers .
One thing I do on new builds, after fully installing and updating XP and hardware drivers, AV software, and Nero 7, is find all the leftover installation and temporary files and all but the last system restore points, and the XP update restore files, and delete all of them. Then I defrag the drives and use Nero 7's drive backup utility to copy the OS partition to a DVDR disc. Then I install bloatware like OfficeXP, etc since all that drives the backup to over one 4.7 gig disc. Games I install on the other drive, not my boot drive.