one thing I've always done on all my computers, create (on a 60gb drive) a 10-15gb C: partition and then use the rest for a D: partition. D will hold all your music, documents, video, etc. C: is for windows and all the executables. that way when it acts up, just reinstall windows on C and dont worrry about backing up your data. obviously you cant use the recovery wizard though (i did, accidentally, and it repartitioned the drive. wups.) i would also suggest using a program called HDCopy. After you install windows (i had to upgrade to pro for work) and all the drivers and all your programs (3 different c compilers...a *nix emulator...etc), just copy the entire C: drive to D:. this way, all you have to do when windows starts getting weird is wipe C and copy the backup back onto it (its a little more complicated than that, but still). As I reformat roughtly 4-5 times a year, the investment in time and space is worth it.
or you could just install syllable...or arch...some sort of real OS.