My dad just gave me a computer he bought used a while back, and i want to get all of his junk off of it. He doesn't have the recovery disks, so I can't go that route. I was wondering if there was any way I could wipe everything on the HDD except for the os, and if its possible (and easy) Microsoft office 2007.
P.S I've spent the last two days trying to figure it out, but this is my first time using XP
You just need to uninstall any of his programs that you won't be using and delete his personal files. (ask dad before deleting in case he wants to back them up) Then use a program like CCleaner to get rid of browser history and registry settings etc. To be safe, don't delete anything in the Windows folder. There are some utility programs related to the functioning of the hardware that you should save. If you're unsure about something, ask here.
Yes you can go to "Add/Remove Programs" and uninstall unneeded software from there. But as Max Collodi suggested don't remove anything blindly. You need to be sure, it could a driver or a security software that you don't want to get rid off. Make research on each software to make sure you don't remove something important.
What brand is the PC? What model is it? Even if it's old, some companies still offer recovery disks or even real Windows disk if you contact them. Sometimes it's free (even many years after you bought it, I know Dell won't charge you anything) but other companies might charge you.
Note that Windows XP is an old OS released back in 2002 and Microsoft will drop support on April 1st 2014. Which means no more security updates after this date. It might become more dangerous to browse the web if your OS is not patched anymore. If the hardware is not too bad it might be worth buying a newer version of Windows.