|The retail version of XP fits on a single 700MB CD with room to spare. Why would you need 4 DVD's (almost 19GB) to do a recovery?|
If all you want to do is erase the drive, there are plenty of free utilities that can do that. All you have to do is download the software, burn to a CD, boot off it, then wipe the drive. Heck, if you have a floppy drive, you can do it all with a WinME boot floppy.
Try the Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD):