|The best way is to restore the laptop to its original factory settings - you then have the opportunity to wipe any previous user data and have everything in your own name, any other method just produces piecemeal results.|
Depending on the make of the laptop, see if there is an option to create recovery disks somewhere in the start menu - assuming you didn't get any disks with it. Then just reboot from the disk(s) and follow the prompts to do a destructive reinstall (wipes the drive before installing). Alternatively, if there is a Vista COA sticker on it you may be able to get away with a generic Vista disk, but this doesn't always work so leave this to the last option.
As a final point, I would recommend adding another 1Gb of RAM if there's a spare slot - Vista will crawl along with only 1Gb installed.
"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..." Pink Floyd