Thor, first try defragging your hard drives.
The 7700 needs the RAID drivers installed even if you don't use RAID. I think I've read that AW incorporates the RAID drivers into the respawn and recovery cd's, but if they don't you'll need to get the drivers on a floppy or bootable cd to install.
With the respawn cd, you just put it in the drive and reboot. I think it'll ask you if you want to boot from cd and you should. It will then take you to a menu and guide you through the process.
I usually delete the partition windows is on, then create a new partition. This will nuke everything on that partition and prepare it for a clean install. Make sure you have everything you want to save backed up somewhere before doing that.
Then you just tell windows what partition to install on and the rest is pretty automatic.
With the respawn, it'll load all the factory drivers for you. If you use the windows cd you'll need to install all the drivers for the mobo/chipset/audio/video etc...Here is AW's knowledge base article on reloading windows on an m7700.