Moved to General Hardware/Software forum.
Your system may still have the recovery partition intact. To access it, press the F11 key at power up and follow the prompts. However, if it were me and the only thing I had was a retail copy of XP and no recovery partition, then I'd wipe the drive prior to installing XP. You can do this in several different ways. You can download a utility program that performs a DoD-style wipe (killdisk.com), which is probably "over-kill". You can use a disk utility/diagnostic program made by the manufacturer of the drive (SeaTools for Seagate, DFT for Hitachi, etc.). Or simply grab a copy of PC Doctor for DOS from the IBM/Lenovo download site:http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... MIGR-58597
This last option is also where you can find the drivers and utilities for the T43.
Even if you do have a working recovery partition, you're going to have to install all of the Windows updates since the system was delivered. I just updated one of my T41 systems yesterday with the XP SP3 disk and it took a couple of hours (not including the time for the 560MB .ISO image download from Microsoft).
P.S. You have a PM from me as well...