Finally we got our new computer yesterday after waiting two weeks for the graphics card. In fact I gave up on the shop to get hold of the card and ordered it separately over the web.
While installing Windows XP and then Service Pack 2, the computer just rebooted on us for no good reason, and then wouldn’t boot at all.
After a few tries I gave up and had a look inside. The reason was probably a loose SATA cable. After fastening it properly we started again.
Formatting the 1 TB drive took close to 3 hours. A quick format would probably have done the job just as well (without looking for surface problems) but I thought I might as well do it properly.
After installing Windows again, getting everything set up the way you want it takes ages. Service packs, drivers and a million different programs. File endings: visible, system files: visible, start-menu: classic, annoying shortcuts on the desktop: GO AWAY! Disable ten or so unnecessary Windows services. Etc.
Now the computer is beginning to become usable. Our old Firefox profiles in place. Internet access working.
The graphics card, an XFX HD 4890 Black Edition, is a bit on the loud side while gaming, but in Windows it is a lot quieter. Before we got the driver installed for it the fan was spinning away at 100%, which was a bit trying during the three hours it took to format the hard drive.
At the moment my lovely wife is playing Sims 3 at maximum graphics settings with no visible lag at all. Will be interesting to try some of my games later.