Please stay away from Win ME - it is by far the worst and most buggy OS I have ever used.
XP Pro is awesome - try to get it from a friend in university - loads cheaper and sometimes almost free!!
It takes around 45 minutes to install XP-Pro and then another 30 minutes to do all your drivers and another 45 minutes to format the rest of the drives (during os install only c gets formatted and unformatted partitions are created for the others) and install your programs.
I would say - it takes the better half of a day to get your system running the way you like.
I usually run a defrag immediately after installation of OS and drivers, install my programs and run defrag again.
I create a separate drive Data H: for saving all my files like word, notepad, temporary internet files, downloads etc. and write the ones I want to CDR - I then either format this drive when I have everything backed up or just defrag it once a week.
I have posted the updated catalyst 3.2 installation procedure here: I went through the process and found that I couldnt follow my own instructions
this might make things a lot easier :-http://sagerforums.com/forums/showth...3173#post23173
Or just read the following :
These are the new set of instructions for the installation of the Catalyst 3.2 Drivers from ATI.
1] Download the Cat3.2 drivers from the ATI website or click the link below to get there directly :-http://mirror.ati.com/support/drivers/powered.html
2] Save those files to some location on your HDD.
3] Start the Installation program for the Cat3.2 driver and save the files to some location other than your C drive (just to be clean about the whole thing).
NOTE : you have to stop the installation process after the files are extracted - exit the setup the next stage by clicking the cancel button...
4] Now uninstall the old drivers that you had installed.
Start -> Control Panel -> Add Remove Programs -> ATI Display Driver and the ATI Control Panel
Remove both these items and then restart your system
5] Windows will load with its crappy drivers and you will get a message saying that "new hardware was found" and then the driver installation window will open.
6] Here select "Install from a list or specific location"
7] Select "Dont search I will choose the driver to install"
8] Select "Display Adapters"
9] Click the "have Disk" button
10] You will get a big list - go to the middle of the list where you will see many Radeon XXXX series listed. Select any one of the Radeon 9000 series (but not the Radeon 9000 secondary) and proceed to install the driver.
11] You will get some sort of error message or a warning telling you that the driver is blah blah - ignore and proceed to install the driver.
12] The flying papers between two folder icons means that the steps you have followed are correct.
13] Congratulations!! Now you have installed the Cat 3.2 drivers. Before you restart please also install the ATI Control panel
14] ATI control panel is easy to install using the setup file that you downloaded without any special steps - just double click it and follow the instructions.
15] Restart the system and set the resolution you want because it will be 640X480 by default.