The Indexing Service is optional in my book and noted as such at BLACK VIPER'S CONFIGURATION GUIDE. Link follows.
Also worthy of note is that XP (you didn't tell anything but XP) will get infected with a worm in seconds of connection to the internet without a firewall. I move immediately to XP SP2 since I get a firewall with SP2 plus patches to thwart many pests. That way I can connect, load updates, antivirus and firewall.
When I start up my computer and get past the login on Win XP everything loads up. But after everything loads and I and just sitting at my desktop the light on my hard drives keep going crazy for about 5 minutes. everything is slow. I pressed ctrl alt del to see if there were any programs running that shouldnt be, but from what i could tell everything was normal, though i only looked at the programs that normally take up the most memory. Is there a way to find what program your hard drive is accessing at that time? Thanks guys!