Having been a Mac admin for the last couple of years, I haven't touched Windows much lately. I've recently been given a few (~9) previously-loved laptops, some of which work, most of which have Windows XP Pro or Home license stickers on them. (A couple have illegible stickers, and a couple designed for Win98SE or Win95).
I want to do a clean re-install of the OS. No, I don't have recovery disks. Yes, some of them have recovery partitions on the hard drive.
Just thinking of the marathon of installing, waiting, downloading, patching, finding drivers, etc, makes the prospect of reformatting them unpleasant (but I don't want to leave them in their existing state, either). [I should stop thinking and start doing it, I know.] To be clear, the laptops are almost all different, rendering the use of an image untenable.
Are there any tips to make this a pleasant experience (or even a less unpleasant one)? Should I built some OS discs with Win XP SP3 slipstreamed onto it? [I doubt I can legally download such a disc, can I?] Should I use something like nlite?
Addendum: I do not want to unethically or unlawfully install Windows; please see my follow-up questions, Ethics and Windows License Stickers.