Im the head techy at my pc shop down town and reading this post made me pmsl
Some very bad advice LOL!
Just about everything from a torrent or p2p software such as limewire has some sort of virus or malicious software attached - FACT. I spend most of my days getting rid of the shite, trust me. BUY your operating system or at the very least borrow a legit cd and make a copy then buy a COA sticker that contains a genuine license, they can be got hold of for £10! Retail v's OEM = A box and microsoft support OR a cd and COA sticker - the bits you really need! f*ck retail!!!
XP Pro is aimed at business use and has tighter security and many more networking options - again NOT NEEDED. XP Home Edition with Service Pack 3 is a great operating system and so is Windows 7 Home Premium - I dual boot depending on what I wanna do with the PC.
Also BUY a decent antivirus like Kaspersky 2010, the Internet Security from them is very good and we sell it for just £19 a year - you can't complain at that!
If you wanna download "Warez" then use something proper like newsgroups NOT the shite that is limewire or torrent crap. You may have to pay for this at about $10 a month but trust me its well worth it. I get full speeds all the time with no queues and no uploading. Everything is scanned before you download it and if something passes the scans and sneaks through there is multiple warnings from users within minutes.
ALWAYS shut down your pc properly and if its a laptop DO NOT let the battery run dead!
98% of all my repairs could be avoided just with the above advice BUT the porn/warez crazed population around here can't be told Soooooo ... I keep taking their money and fixing their pc's LOL