I'm considering wiping the HDD and reinstalling XP but would prefer to ensure it can be reinstated to its current state. And I'd also like to be able to get at all the data independently.
The HDD is c.60 Gbytes with a total of about 14 Gbytes used.
To deal with the second requirement first. I could, presumably, copy the data folders, My Documents, and any other data folders, to an external drive.
As for the first requirement, what's the best way of going about it and what (preferably free) software would do the job?