Why are you wanting to do a system refresh, or what problems are you attempting to fix?
I feel as there are probably a few thing's a bit skew if about the laptop, but what I know is that file history doesn't work and I can't seem to change the user name of my account. There's no virus issue.
Create your factory Recovery Media (either USB or DVD) using the provided utility from your manufacture
Created a disc image using the native system image tool. I've created a of the boot drive onto USB (and backed up that image) a password reset thing as well. The drive image has been mounted to a drive letter and checked (although I'll repeat this process as the image is a few day's old now.)
Use a 3rd party program such asurl
I'm tempted to use Acronis as I've heard good thing's about it, I might have a play with Easeus first.... But for now I've used the native system image, I might double that up with Drive Image XML / One of those you mentioned (is there any particular reason to use these over the native tool?)
Create a list of programs that will need to be reinstalled when If Windows is Refreshed you can use url
Yeah I can do that, although they should be listen in the Program Files (x86) & (x64) folders as well... i think?
Export Data or create backup data files for the programs that offer it (Outlook, Contacts, Bookmarks etc.) them to external media/font/color/size
Won't this be in the Disc Image? /font/color
Download all the installers ahead of time for the programs you need to re-install and them to external media/font/color/size/
Yeah I've got quite a few of them in a folder (CC Cleaner, MWB and a few others...) Good shout though I'll check this.
Make sure all of your personal files are backed up
I was thinking that this might be in the image as well.... feel like I've been a touch presumptuous on this front!
I'll read through this/font/color
If you want to keep a separate of your Os you can use the third party tools mentioned above or just your newly created .img file to external media/size/font/color
Is this for the process during set up?
Having your operating system on a different partition then your data is good practice however depending on the size and amount of data needed for programs your performance may suffer
fair, well I'm not too sure whether it would affect me negatively (my systems in my signature) or whether different uses change this much. Do most people do this? (Split partition for OS / Files) Does it create loads more work saving file paths, and what files does it save, would an EXE file be stored on the OS or the files section? (Is it basically just the library's on a different partition? )
Thanks very much, hope this made sense (very tireeeeed)