Clean Install of Windows ME
Begin by either booting your machine to a DOS prompt (be sure to have CD drivers!) or have a "Run" dialog box (Win-R) up in your current version of Windows.
Type in "X:\SETUP.EXE" where X is the drive letter corresponding to the drive with the CD in. The wizard will load up and you will be told what to do. As though you don't actually know already!
You will now need to enter your serial number found on a little sticker on your CD case or manual. In the format *****-*****-*****-*****-*****. If you are using an upgrade disk you will need proof you are eligible for an upgrade now. Either an installed version of Windows 98 or 95 or the disks for them.
If you are running install through Windows, and are upgrading, at this time I also believe you will be asked if you want to store information to uninstall Windows ME. I would say no. This could just create more problems for you. If you want to revert, full format.
Now chose your location. "C:\WINDOWS" is a good default. Stick with it unless you have good reason not to.
You now have the options; Typical, Portable, Compact, Custom. I recommend if you are low on disk space (<500mb) chose Compact. Otherwise chose Custom.
Now if you chose custom put a tick on everything. It'll be worth it. If you chose Compact you'll be asked what you really want. I'll leave that decision to you.
Now enter your name and company name. If this is a home PC type in "Home".
Now, it will give you regional options: The language you speak. Defaults to English. Your Country/Region. Defaults to US. Your Keyboard Layout Defaults to US. Time Zone -- pick your own.
Now you're given the option to create a start-up disk. If you don't already have one then make it. Otherwise forget about it.
You are now ready to copy the files. Takes about 10-20min. go make a cup of tea. Or even better. Open a can of Red Bull.
Your computer will then restart, then hardware searching will begin -- Windows should automatically find and setup most hardware.
After hardware setup, your computer will reboot again. When your computer finishes, you'll see a dialog box letting you know that Windows ME is finishing up configuration. This takes some time. Just sit back and relax again.
Then, one final restart. When your computer boots up you'll be asked for a username and password. Don't bother with them. Just click OK and leave the name there. When everything is installed and working, create the usernames. This means all the icons will be where you want them and the internet/network will work for each user.
Set up your Internet connection and go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com and install all the latest security patches and such. Also, I reccomend upgrading to IE 6, it will help with stability. After that, take your new Windows ME machine and go to http://www.oldos.org and listen to us bash your newfound OS.