Posted 01 January 2008 - 09:55 PM
If you want to mess with windows or any other such thing, you do need an imaging application.
When needed, the entire previous state of the computer is brought back, untouched.
A good utility such as Acronis True Image, in addition to imaging, does allow you to selectively restore bits and pieces (if you know what you're doing). And of course it permits you to backup anything you want separately.
There are other imaging applications, Norton Ghost is one of them. I'm not familiar with it, but my Restore CD, the worthless XP SP1 disk by now, is nothing but a ghost image.
Image takes in used space to backup the exact contents, so that restoreing is possible.
Cloning is a different concept. That's the sector-by-sector copy of the hard drive and is usually used when people want to replace a drive by it's complete clone.
NTBackup should be on your restore CD under a Value Add directory.
To just backup some files, copy and paste is the easiest method, in my opinion. One disadvantage is the size. Winzip or some other compresing type backup might be useful.
Why reinstall the whole Windows just to repair touchpad? Doesn't the manufacturer provide touchpad driver? I would think a windows reinstallation with its hundreds of fixes and patches, plus the need to reinstall all applications and tweak their settings, is an absolute overkill and bad advice.