I second Aaron, it should be possible but it definitely will not speed things up.
It will slow down... don't know how much, but it certainly will.
The best solution from my experience:
I keep a clean, minimalist install of XP in its own partition.
(Open control panel and uninstall Windows components: Certificates, IE, Outlook, Network, Media Player, Messenger, then install your hardware drivers, then your applications.)
I boot XP very seldomly, when I need to do something that is not available for Ubuntu.
(Which means only unusual iPhone operations and TomTom GPS updating.)
Whether you want to primarily use XP or not, anyway you should do the following:
Create your partitions, including a small NTFS for XP installation and a big FAT or NTFS for the personal files you want to access from XP.
The WindowsXP NTFS partition should have the smallest possible size that will make all the installation/configuration possible. (It should be just big enough so that XP installation accepts its size, and there is enough room for you to cut XP's fat and then install and run your applications.) I mean something between 4GB and 8GB, depending on how big your applications are.
Keep your files in the other big partition so you can restore this image after XP gets too slow again without losing data.
Creating / restoring the XP image
After your XP is ready for the snapshot, boot your computer from Ubuntu LiveCD or from Ubuntu's own partition, so that the XP partition is not being used at all.
Then carefully run a command like this:
sudo dd if=/dev/sda1 of=FreshWindowsXP.img
Make sure that
- the XP partition really is
/dev/sda1 or replace it by the correct partition.
/dev/sda1 it is not mounted (run
mount to find out).
- there is enough free space (the
df . will tell you that).
After some minutes it will finish and
FreshWindowsXP.img will be a 4~8GB file with a perfect copy of the whole XP partition.
When you want to restore this image, all you need to do is run the same commands with
But be careful,
dd is a powerful command and if you do it wrongly you may have serious data loss.