Control panel icons in taskbar

I recently had to reinstall XP SP3.

I've swtiched everything to Classic view.

Now theres a section of my taskbar, to the immediate left of the system tray,
with a little icon and "Add Hardwar" and ">>".

When I click the ">>", up pop all the icon links to everything in Control Panel.

How do I remove all this?

do you have the quick launch toolbar enabled?

right click on your taskbar and choose properties, clear check mark if it is enabled

also look at customize, you might have checked to show link to control panel

BTW, I hope you have sp3 and an antivirus installed before connecting to the internet after your reinstall?