Save the following to CD or Flash Drive. R174292 from Dell downloads and Windows SP1, SP3.
Rebooted. Used F2 to get into setup and changed Onboard Devices/SATA Operation from AHC1 to ATA and Onboard Devices/Flash Cache Module to OFF. Saved and exited
Insert XP disk in CD/DVD drive.
Rebooted. Used F12 to change boot device to CD/DVD. XP will load from CD.
Reboot. Run R174292 from your CD or Flash to be able to connect to the internet. Connect to your router.
Run SP1 and SP 3 Windows updates from Flash card.
Go to Dell downloads. Enter Service Tag number from bottom of the laptop. This will give you what downloads you will need. Most laptops have different combinations of components. Mark the ones you want to download. Download them all at once to a separate file folder.
Go to download file folder you set up and rename all the downloaded files to make it easier to install them in the proper order. It is important that the drivers are installed in the proper order. I used file names like D00 Notebook System R161278, D01 Chipset R153997, D03 Media R141246, etc. I had 14 install programs (you could have more or less depending on your laptop's configuration) to run so to keep them straight I found that renaming them really helped out.
Reboot and download and installl CCleaner. Run CCLeaner to clean out dead wood and clean up the registry. Use the wipe option under advanced. It takes a while to run, but it is always good to start out with a clean system.
Reboot and install your regular software.
What was written above by others was very helpful and got me started on this project. They did a heck of a job. You really have to hate Vista to do this.