Installing Windows XP

I have a Dell Vostro 200 computer.

One day it would not respond in any way. I engaged the services of a computer specialist and he got my computer back on track by reinstalling a copy of Windows XP Professional software.

This was fine for awhile, but then I discovered I could not download updates from Microsoft. To make a very long story very short, the program he installed was an illegal copy of Windows XP.

After some speculation I decided that the best way to resolve my problem was to buy a legal copy of Windows XP Professional Edition.
I have ordered the program, but I have a question: Will it come with explicit instuctions on how to save my current data?

I have a Western Digital External USB Hard Drive. Should I try to transfer the data that is on my Dell hard drive to my external hard drive and then transfer it back after installing my new copy of Windows XP?

I am not the brightest bulb when it comes to computers, so what I need is step by step instructions on how to go about the installation of Windows XP and the transfer of data.

Needless to say, any advice and instructions will, as they say, be gratefully appreciated.

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  1. It's always important to make backups first if you can. Back it up to DVD, thumb drive, sure to get all your personal files, like pictures...
    or make double backups to DVD and external disk drive, etc...
    Then you will delete the partitions, reformat the drive, when you install your fresh XP.
  2. Yes you should use the external hard drive to make a copy of all your files you wish to save. But how exactly is you internal hard drive partitioned?

    If you have a smaller partition, where your current windows copy is installed, and a bigger partition where your other data is stored, you can just format the smaller one and install windows on that one. Just backup files you want to keep from the small partition and when installing windows, make sure to select the smaller size partition, otherwise the setup will try and format the wrong one.
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