As to the formatting issue, when I got my 8104 yesterday I just used another copy of XP Pro (after changing the bios to load from the CD) to delete ALL 3 partitions, then I re-partitioned to two drives, and from the XP Pro setup blue screen I formatted the C drive NTFS and installed XP Pro on the C Drive. For the CD Key, I used what was on the bottom of the Acer. When it finally loaded up, I formatted the RAW d: drive as NTFS from XP OS, then installed service pack 2 (which I burned on another CD).
Lastly, I used the "System CD" that came with the Acer to install all the drivers, utilities, and programs. [When you put the system cd in, and you click on the install tab, it has Windows XP on the left hand side, you click on that and then there is a list of all the dirvers, utilities, etc. you can install one by one.)
Hope you can try it before you send it in.