Setting up an HTPC for the first time (or reinstalling for whatever reason) is never an easy process but it doesn't have to be overly difficult either. The best way to begin a project like this is to have a plan in place and the tools necessary to complete it as quickly as possible.
Here we walk through the steps needed to go from a reinstallation of your operating system to installing drivers and software and finally, setting up Windows Media Center. The full process is one that is different for every installation so we'll only be covering the general steps here. For more details, you'll want to be sure and do research on your hardware so you can ensure that you get the correct drivers. As well, everyone uses different software. I'll be using my favorites as examples here but again, what you install will be up to you and you'll want to follow the instructions for each installation.