Windows XP home edition came with the computer (OES) which was in 2003, I think. In the past, I wished several times to do a clean install but I didn't own the disks, so I have been fixing it and updating with service packs ever since. But now I have so much stuff on here - programs I downloaded and would not be able to transfer, (or things I bought and installed and would have to pay for again) so I prefer to keep this going if I can. I never could get Adobe Flash to work in IE. And never got SP3 to install. Failed several times by download, and even failed after I bought the CD version from Microsoft. After several time-consuming attempts in which my system had serious crashes, I finally gave up and went back to what I had, which has been working okay.
My next computer, which probably isn't too far in the future, will be the time to "start clean again." I have been hesitant to go to Vista because when I tried Vista on a computer at work, I didn't like it. Maybe the next OS will be better, or maybe I'll get used to it. I think I'd prefer to buy a new computer with a clean version of XP, if I can get it. It may not have all the bells & whistles of Vista, but for the things I do, XP seems more than adequate, and I suspect a clean version would be pretty free of bugs.
I am thinking of buying a new computer "box," and keep my other peripherals which are fairly new. I would use the new one for most of my daily computing needs, but all so keep this one. Maybe I could turn it into an "external hard drive" and just leave all the old stuff on it, and copy over just the newest files to the new computer. That way, the new one might run and search faster with less stuff on it. Ideally, if I could keep this current one going, I'd be able to continue running some of the downloaded programs (ones I only use occasionally) without having to transfer or reinstall everything to the new box. Maybe I could network them somehow? Or, perhaps, use some sort of switch to change the keyboard and monitor back and forth between the boxes. That might allow me to keep the older stuff on the old box but switch back and forth between old and new. What do you think?