Posted 15 July 2008 - 06:56 AM
Even if you're successful in backing up the system files (using Cobian), you'll find that you can't use them to restore your operating system.
To start with, you won't have a way of putting the boot files back where they belong on the disk (that's where the imaging comes in - it stores not only the files, but their locations on the disk). After that you'll have to contend with security, access, registry, and permissions issues. In short, others have tried this and it's not usually worth the effort that will be required.
Imaging, on the other hand, will restore your system to exactly the state it was in on the day that you made the image. And most imaging tools will do this within 20 minutes. If you've changed hardware in the meantime, a repair install is recommended before booting into the operating system for the first time. Also, it's a good idea to make an image after changing any hardware - as a repair install will set your Windows Updates back to the level of your installation CD (and most SP2 CD's are lacking over 100 of the latest updates).
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