I think there's a little misunderstanding as far as the need for Windows XP. The issue that is being addressed there is that Custom Reports don't have descriptive titles by default.
If you want to set these titles, you need to edit the file properties. Windows XP made this super easy, and Windows Vista/7/8 doesn't. You can change file properties like this: Change the properties for a file and you can even add custom properties, but I don't have an XP machine laying around either and I don't know what the name of that property was to edit it in new Windows. Either way, you don't need XP to make custom reports.
As for the custom reports: yes, you have to run a report. This brings the fields and values for a given report into the reports console. We suggest running a report for the last 30 minutes, customizing and saving, and running the customized report for the span of days or weeks required. This usually takes a small amount of time, since it's such a recent and small time-frame. You can set filters to look for values not included in the report that results, so you only need the report to pull in the right fields from the query.