Seems to me...that it would be simpler, if not better, to just install a program that does automatic backups to anoter drive.
XP itself almost takes up 1 CD, who knows how much space would be required for what you propose?
Well couple of reasons (or maybe I am just off the right path here)
1 - I live in another state so doing periodic backups of the machine after I give it to her is out of the question. She wouldn't know how or even do it if she did.
2 - I don't know any program that does that. : ( Not overly computer literate myself.
3 - Some of the programs on here, I no longer have the original CD or serial key for. (MS OFFICE, etc..)
4 - If worst came to worst, it would be easier (quicker) for her (or my mom) to just pop in the recovery CD and go from there to restore it rather than do a clean install of XP, then SP2 - SP3, and all the necessary drivers. My mother lives in a rural area and only has dial up internet (yes, it still exists). So without DSL downloading all the drivers and such would take like 2 years. : (
I am mostly concerned with the correct drivers and service pack edition being available on a recovery disk. I can treat the other things like files and programs as minor inconvenience and work around them in the future if need be.