Installing WinXP one partition, programs another

I was wondering if it were possible to install all my programs on one
partition, and winXP Pro on another. Then, if I have to reinstall
windows I wouldn't have to reinstall all the programs.

The problem is that I would like to reformat the partition where
windows is going to be installed. Couldn't I just export the registry
beforehand, and then import it after install? (I'm assuming I'll have
to re-install any drivers first). Or is this a pipe dream?