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Friday, November 09, 2007

What do you install after a Windows re-format?

I have become a minimalist in many ways, so this was a good chance to do some housekeeping and only install the minimums (which ended up being pretty significant). I detailed this process and I am sharing it with you here. It would be interesting to find out what applications you consider essential when doing a complete re-format.

read more | digg story

1 comment:

ProphetPX said...


Okay, some people (who commented on the DIGG story) would seriously SUCK as a SysAdmin!   The ONLY person on here whom i can even come close to respecting is the person who says "5000 freaking updates!"  LMAO

ok now, Seriously ...  this is what I would do, and of course, a MANDATORY REBOOT between EACH itemized updated line.

BEFORE installing a Windows OS (of any kind) ...

I.  I first:  *** ONLY IF NEEDED *** Update the BIOS of the Motherboard (very carefully) to the latest rendition

-- I then install Windows XP SP2 Pro / SP2 MediaCenter2005 --
(My preferred user-editions of XP is so far the "XP SP2 9in1" compilation, I have yet to try others like UWI or make my own with BartPE or nLite)
(NOTE:  I never connect the PC to any network at all, till way down near the end of my list)

II.  Install / update the appropriate RAID or SCSI drivers during installation, then reboot (If I don't have the latest ones on hand then I update them AFTER installation if I can find newer ones ...

III.  Install AutoPatcher (it is a substitute for going through Microsoft's own Update site.  It is wholly downloaded offline FIRST before I do ANYTHING)
A.  AutoPatcher was officially DISCONTINUED as of this morning, TODAY (8-29-2007).  But you can still find some copies floating around on BitTorrent trackers on the internet, as is here:
1.  Last known AutoPatcher BitTorrent Tracker: (note: AutoPatcher project was killed by Microsoft, as of 2007, but WinDizUpdate via Firefox is still another viable alternative solution)
B.  This list also includes:
1.  Internet Explorer 7/8b -
2.  Windows Media Player 11 -
3.  Windows Defender v2 Beta (FREE) -
4.  Microsoft's .NET/FX CLR, versions: 1.0, v2.0, and v3.x
5.  Windows PowerShell CLI
6.  XP PowerTools
7.  TreeSize Free
8.  StartUpCPL
9.  StartUp Monitor
10. DIR2File, or windirstat, GNU df, du, ls >./files.txt
11. SyncToy
12. TweakUI/XP
13. CopyProfile
14. PowerMenu
15. Windows Uptime Tool
16. IE SpellCheck
17. Google Toolbar
18. ClearType Tuner
19. Virtual Desktop Manager
20. SysInternals BGImage for background system data
21. Environment+ Manager
22. SE Config XP for Secure Environments
23. SH Junction
24. (Various other tools from the WinXP Resource Kit CD)
25. (Various other free / open-source / GNU software comes up for Windows users)

IV.  Update Motherboard Chipset Drivers (includes Thermal instrumentation),
A.  plus hardware info tools:
1.  Ariolic ActiveSMART,
2.  wCPUID,
3.  Crystal CPUID,
4.  CPUz,
6.  Dimm_ID,  
8.  SoftFSB (for info only!  NEVER ADJUST!)
9.  3Com's Network Adapter Diagnostic tray applet + DOS config tool
10. HD Tachometer
B.  Filesystem Drivers:
1.  ExtIFS/32 v1.2C for linux ext2/3 filesystem driver, for accessing my other partitions that also use Debian Linux
2.  SwapFS (for using the linux swap partition as extra Windows Swap Space)
3.  CramFS (for using USB Memory Stick drives as a V/RAM booster similiar to Vista's "ReadyBoost")
4.  ROMFS (for accessing the ESCD/NVRAM area of my BIOS CMOS)
5.  GmailFS (for remote file storage on GMail accounts)

V.  Update MS DirectX
A.  Install the DX9c control panel applet

VI.  Update Video Card drivers (includes OpenGL stuff, if needed).  Right now I use Official ATI Radeon Catalyst drivers.
A.  Also includes installing vendor and chipset specific tools and apps for that video card specifically.
B.  ATI's Catalyst Control Center
C.  ATI'd DVD Hardware Decoder driver
D.  ATI's MediaPlayer app (which needs WMV Encoder 9)
E.  ATI RemoteWonder (USB) RF/Wireless Remote Control installation
F.  Rage3D Tweaker CCC plugin (newest versions work with Radeons)
G.  Install Promixis.NL "Girder" for use with my ATI RF Remote Control
H.  Install ATI-Util + ATI Tweaker
I.  Install ATI-Tool + GameUtil
J.  Install Sci-Tech GLDirect v5
K.  Install EnTech PowerStrip + DPMS ScreenSaver extender shim
L.  Register (RegSvr32): GDIPlus.dll in \Windows\System32\

VII.  Update all Network Adapter drivers
A.  I always setup my LAN for static IPs with NAT and QoS forwarding from my Linksys NAS Router

VIII.  Update Sound card drivers, including, after driver installation:
A.  Creative's OpenAL
B.  ACE Mega Codec Pack (which includes the old FFDshow / h.264),
C.  OGG/Theora,
D.  MPC+ Pro (Thompson),
E.  APE and MonkeyAudio,
F.  FLAC support,
G.  Aud-X,
H.  FMOD/32
I.  AudioShell
J.  XVid and DivX 6+
K.  Matroska (MKV) - the simple man's MKV tools
L.  Selective parts of HellNinjaCommando's "DefilerPak" which includes Digital HD A/V/TV/content hardware tools
M.  Vodei (i hate this piece of shit but sometimes it's necessary to convert what you download)
N.  On2 VP6/7 Codec
O.  DirectVobSub (auto)
P.  TechSmith's EnSharpen Decoder
Q.  AC3Filter + (AC3 ACM)
R.  Sony DTS codec (RARE!!)
S.  WMV 9 Capture Encoder/Decoder
T.  ATI YUV VCR file codec/driver support
U.  Cyberlink ATI H.264 + H.323 hardware codec/driver
V.  ADAPTEC ASPI v4.72 layer drivers ("c:\adaptec\aspi\install.bat install XP32")
W.  High Criteria's Total Recorder mixer driver
X.  Headband G-Spot codec encoding analyzer
Y.  RatDVD + RatAttack!

IX.  Update drivers for ALL PERIPHERALS (this includes Parallel and Serial devices, and USB, whatever).
A.  Installation of applications for handling my APC UPS unit (USB)
B.  PC-Linq/2 for my USB file-transfer cable system (it is like "LapLink" but different - APC brand)

X.  NEXT I install any manufacturer-related software (the big vendors make their own tools for wireless, windows help extensions, display controls, and the like...). Laptops and consumer-oriented "factory preassembled" desktops are heavy-laden with big vendor brand software (and NO I am not talking about the extra "fluff" they install afterwards like spyware and "crap-ware" and junkware).

XI.  NEXT I connect all Network and USB hubs, including my Raritan KVM unit
A.  which then entails installing all drivers for peripherals detected thusly
1.  (my KVM Switch doesn't require any drivers, it just has updateable firmware) ...

XII.  Then my current list of preferred security solutions:
A. Firewall:
1. Windows XP's built-in
2. + ZoneAlarm Net Security Suite (yes, the total package)
3. or Sygate's Personal Firewall (SPF free)
B. and Anti-Virus
1. Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus Free,
2. or the latest ZoneAlarm (which switched to using Kaspersky databases now)
C. and Anti-Spam measures (ZA includes Mail Frontier Anti-Spam filtering)
D. and Identity-Theft, OSFireWall, and Intrusion-Detection measures (using ZoneAlarm, again)
E. and Anti-Spyware apps:
1. I might install Zone Alarm Anti-Spyware scanning module (it has issues with alot of things I like to do)
2. JavaCool's Spyware Blaster 4.x pro-active protector,
3. LavaSoft's Ad-Aware 2007 + RegHance,
4. SpyBot Search & Destroy - all updated (BEST EVER!!!)
5. A-Squared + Grisoft AVG Anti-Spyware
6. PC Tools Anti-Spyware (supposed to be the best right now, but I don't like it, it runs super slow and extremely sluggish!!)
7. Pest Patrol Anti-Spyware (a.k.a. Cheyenne Software's, now owned by Computer Associates as part of their "Vault" partnership program with Zone Labs).
(I used to rely on Zone Alarm's Net Security Suite for handling ALL of items "a" through "d" and part of "e", above)
F. HOST-file protection (programs: "IE Spy Ads" via XP Smoker, and Mike's "No-AD Hosts")
G. Phoenix Labs' PeerGuardian 2 beta, for spyware/trojan/advertisement blocklists, Unsafe/Restricted sites blocklists.  (note:  it is NOT just for "P2P users" ya know).
H.  AnalogX ScriptDefender, a Script-execution protection tool
I.  More System Protection Apps:
1.  MS Windows Defender (updated),
2.  HiJack This! for Diagnosis on web forums,
3.  KillBox,
4.  Foxie Firewall Suite for Internet Explorer, an ActiveX and script protection subsystem
5.  SE Config XP,
6.  Windows' Global Policy Editor (most people overlook this one)
7.  Glary Utilities + Registry Repair (very impressive!!)
8.  BelArc Advisor
9.  Green Borders
10. Microsoft Security Baseline Analyzer
J. Anti-RootKit tools:
1. GMER,
2. RK_Unhooker,
3. IceSword,
4. MS SysInternals' RootKit Revealer
5. F-Prot BlackLight
K. Sys Internals (now owned by Microsoft) "WINternals" and "PS Tools" stuff:
1. Process Explorer,
2. Sync,
3. Contig,
4. PageDefrag,
5. TCPview, etc ...
L. Unlocker Assistant, Windows PreFetch Cleaner Control
M. AnalogX stuff:  (BitPump, Capture, CallerID, NetStat Live, FastCache, ITR Client, etc...)

---- NOW I may connect the computer to the internet AFTER it is fully safe and protected and updated.

N. Messengers:
1.  Pidgin IM (formerly known as GAIM) or Finch -
It handles ALL of the following protocols (except Skype and PalTalk) and many many more!
2.  GoogleTalk or GMail Notifier
3.  XFire (or the XFire plugin for Pidgin/Finch/GAIM),
4.  AIM,
5.  Yahoo,
6.  Skype,
7.  "aMSN" (NO not Microsoft's shitty MSN),
8.  PalTalk
9.  ICQ (maybe)
10. My choice of Jabber and/or Twitter App (currently I am using a GoogleTalk Jabber proxy bot for it)
O. IRC + GTS.dll + Protection Scripts, and maybe BitchX and/or xChat for windows
P. DaemonTools (minus it's spyware toolbar)
Q. Chameleon Clock v3, Really Slick ScreenSavers
R. Google Desktop Search + GDS plugins for indexing torrents, and various source code files
S. AWS Weatherbug (some might not like it and yes it is Ad-ware but I like knowing the weather)
T. Media Players:
1.  Artur Sikora's "SubEdit Player" for subtitle editing (Polish with english naturalization, but by far it is the fastest-seeking mediaplayer out there and it uses WMP functionality to do so).
2.  VideoLAN (VLC)
3.  Miro/Democracy Player
4.  Foobar2000
5.  WinAmp 5.x + the following plugins:
a. DFX (registered - a must have)
b. AudioScrobbler for
c. Jump To File Extra
d. Monkey's Audio (APE)
e. Thompson MP3+Pro (MPC)
f. Illiminable OGG Theora
g. FLAC installable with Nero support
h. IN_ZIP.dll (can read RAR and ACE too)
i. IN_SID.dll (retro C64 SID .mus files)
j. ReplayGain.exe + Analyzer
k. AlbumLister
l. Leo's Lyrics
m. Cover Art Downloader
6.  Google Video Player
7.  Checking for functionality with the "5iVe" ("FiVe or 5 V") popular web video helpers:  VEOH, Vimeo, VideoEgg, Vodei, Vuze (aka Azureus).
8.  RatDVD + RAT Attack + MediaPlayer Classic mods
9.  CyberLink PowerDVD (+ plugin for ATI RemoteWonder)
10. MediaPlayer Classic 6.4.91
11. BS Player
12. Zoom Player
13. Crystal Player
14. RAD Game Tools BINK and Smacker player + tools
U.  Hamachi ("LogMeIn") for file-sharing
V.  OllyDebug, PEID, and BPSoft Hex Workshop for exploring files
W.  MS BootVis, MS User Profile Hive Cleanup Service (if not installed with AutoPatcher),
X.  Archivers:
1.  WinZip,
2.  WinRAR,
3.  WinACE,
4.  7-Zip,
5.  UltraISO,
6.  Floppy / BootCD tools:
i.   Jean's WinImager,
ii.  2m.exe,
iii. FDFormat,
iv.  MS CreateCD Optimizer,
v.   Virtual Floppy Disk (VFD) driver
7.  Cygwin / GNU CLI / DOS mode tools like:
i.     AIP-NL UltraCompressor 3 R2,
ii.    ha,
iii.  hap,
iv.   hpack,
v.    bzip2,
vi.   arc,
vii.  arj,
viii. sqz,
ix.   acb
x.     CRUSH v1.8 solid archive file optimizer
Y. CacheMan XP, GetDiz, UnLocker Assistant, CrapCleaner, Restoration, Recuva ...
Z. Creative Element PowerTools ($$$/shareware)

XIII.  THEN I might bother with installing ANY / ALL "applications" ...
A. CPU Fan/Idle, and Motherboard Monitor 5 for thermal events (which needs internet updates during install)
B. cFosSpeed v4.x (for QoS/NAT/RIP+ Routing Priority Traffic-shaping on my network adapter when I am gaming/streaming/downloading/browsing)
C. WinSock apps:
1.  WinPCap,
2.  FreeCap,
3.  SocksCap,
4.  Proxomitron, + 3rd party GUI app
5.  Privoxy (+ TOR + Vidalia Control + FoxyProxy extension for Firefox)
6.  Hamachi Networking
7.  Google Desktop Search
8.  wsock32.ocx (ActiveX control for certain script-kiddy hack tools, if needed)
D. Gray Net P2P apps:
1. I2P, + Daisy
2. FreeNet 0.7x beta,
3. TOR + Vidalia Control (+ FoxyProxy extension for Firefox)
E. Browsers (with Mozilla-similiar products I use the "Modern Aluminum Theme" on all):
1.  Mozilla Firefox - with Firefox, I use the following extra plugins and extensions at minimum:
a.  AdBlock Plus + dutchblock rules
b.  AdBlock Plus G.FilterSet Updater (I also used to use DutchBlock before it was phased out)
c.  WinDizUpdate (another Windows Update clone)
d.  NoScript (JavaScript website security)
e.  DownloadThemAll (another download manager)
f.  VideoDownloader (doesn't work worth shit, but I have not found anything better yet)
g.  FlashGot 1.9.6 (I tried 2.0 beta, it's barely in english at all yet)
h.  FoxyProxy (for use with GWAS / TOR / Privoxy / I2P / FreeNet, external proxies)
i.  FasterFox for speeding up network connections inside FireFox
j. net bookmarking system
k.  NukeAnything
l.  ForeCastFox / AccuWeather Plus
m.  Fusion/Fission
n.  TabMix Plus
o.  SafeCache
p.  StumbleUpon
q.  MR Tech Local Install
r.  CustomizeGoogle
s.  InfoRSS
t.  FireFTP
u.  WebDeveloper Extension
v.  ImageZoom
w.  PDF Downloader
x.  InfoLister + FEBE + CLEO
y.  GreaseMonkey + Platypus + Aardvark
z.  Google Web Accelerator (GWAS)
aa. JavaScript Options (more)
ab. The "Organize Status Bar" add-on (VERY IMPORTANT with the increase in FX addon bloat !!)
ac. NOT an extension, but the separately-installed tray app "FireFox pre-loader" is nice too
2.  Flock Social Browser with PhotoBucket support
3.  Avant Browser for MSIE support, because let's face it, both IE6 and IE7 (and now IE8 beta) are dog-ass slow and STILL BUGGY, take forever to start up, and it is just plain FASTER to use an app that USES THEIR classes than their slow interface code itself from within the original IE.  Enough said.
4.  Opera 9.x with widgets,
5.  GNU text-mode browsers:
i.   lynx (DOS/CLI/ANSI),
ii.  wget,
iii. netcat,
iv.  w3m,
v.   curl,
vi.  links / links2 / elinks,
6.  Apple Safari for Windows,
7.  KDE Konqueror for Windows,
F.  IDE Development tools:
1.  Adobe/Macromedia Suite (PhotoShop, DreamWeaver, Flash, Director, ColdFusion Server, FreeHand, Audition, JRun, etc...)
2.  Eclipse IDE, ActiveState Komodo, ANT, PHP_Edit,
3.  Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 + MSDN October 2005 Edition (perhaps - not necessary too much yet)
4.  RegEx Coach
5.  ActiveState's: ActivePERL, ActivePython, ActiveTcl
6.  WinLAMP (includes Apache, ModPerl, PHP)
7.  NetBEANS IDE for Java Development
8.  NVU Webpage Editor (built from the ground up based on the old Netscape Webpage Composer)
9.  BradSoft TopStyle v3.x CSS Editor
10. Yaldex's "1st Javascript editor" IDE
11. Altova XoftSpy for XML editing
12. MacroMedia DreamWeaver CS3+
13. any BlueFish alternative for Windows
G. Sun JAVA 6 (first removing Microsoft's JVM via AutoPatcher, etc...)
H. Adobe (Acrobat) READER, FoxIt PDF Reader,
I. Thunderbird + Lightning, OR Sunbird (Email and Calendar apps)
J. FlashGet 1.96 (2 beta isn't ready yet, asian language-only),
K. Software for System Optimization:
1. XP Smoker Pro v5
2. Dachsund Programs:
a. Anti-Crash + TownPatrol,
b. Hare + WinOptimize,
c. Zoom + HolyVision,
d. And if it is a laptop:
i.  Battery Doubler
ii. JiggleMouse
L. DOSbox and related apps ... for cheap emulator gaming thrills:
1. D-Fend (no longer actively developed or supported)
2. DBGL (since it comes with free games and for the above reason),
3. WinVICE,
4. Cloanto AmigaForever! with ROMs and WinUAE,
5. a ZIL app for playing Zork! series games,
6. ScummVM
M. VM world apps:
1.  XEN,
2.  QEMU,
3.  SandBoxIE,
4.  FoxIE,
5.  AtStart (@Start) homepage protector
5.  Green Borders,
6.  Bochs/32,
7.  Microsoft Virtual PC,
8.  VMWare (Server/Creator/Player)
9.  DOSBox + DBGL, or an app like dosemu for Win/32
N.'s Event ID#4226 Patcher (for more than 10 open ports via patching WinXP's TCPIP.sys)
O. CableNUT + CableNUT Expansion (more .ccs settings for Adjuster) - this is for optimizing internet bandwidth.
P. PSPad, Aurora Editor v3.0C, QEdit/TSE Jr. 4.0, NotePadPlus, NotePad++ (hey, windows notepad sucks ok)
Q. PuTTY SUITE (pageant, etc...) + WinSCP
R. A 3rd-party Hard Disk Defragmenter (Raxco's PerfectDisk, O&O's, Executive Systems', or UltraDefragmenter)
S. JPSoft's "4NT" extended CLI, and/or TakeCommand
T. CygWin/X
U. shell utilities:
1. GNU shell utilities (WGET = I use alot!  bash, tar, gzip, bzip2, ssh, etc...)
i.   GNU wget
ii.  GNU grep
iii. netcat,
iv.  curl,
2. Commercial-ware:
i.   MS SysInternals sync
ii.  MS SysInternals procexpl
iii. MS SysInternals pagedfrg
iv.  MS SysInternals contig
V. RealVNC, OpenSSH, RAdmin v2.x/3.x, Mikrotix' The Dude, PRTG Traffic Grapher,
W. WS_FTP, and FireFTP extension for Firefox
X. Total Commander
Y. Registry Cleaners and Optimizers:
1. Dachshund's WinOptimize (part of Hare above)
2. Microsoft's RegClean 4,
3. CCLeaner's reg. cleaner,
4. GlarySoft's Registry Cleaner,
5. and AusLogics' Registry Defragmenter
(probably more than this list however I can't think of anymore right now).

XV.  Important np______.dll (Netscape-type) browser plugins:
A. Real Alternative
B. Quicktime Alternative
C. Adobe Macromedia Flash,
D. Shockwave,
E. AuthorWare,
F. Adobe SVG plugin
G. FlashGet for Opera (and Mozilla) plugin,
H. VLC plugin,
I. Windows Media Player plugin for Firefox,
J. MS Office plugin,
K. Microsoft SilverLight - If any of you like the new SilverLight by Microsoft, then this is another possibility to prepare for.
L. Adobe AIR
M. Adobe Reader Plugin
N. MNG support plugin
O. Java+FX enhancement installable
P. MozAx ActiveX for Mozilla plugin - once in awhile I might try the newest iteration of this (used sometimes for IE-system interoperability, but DANGEROUSLY UNSAFE as ActiveX is - you have been warned)

XVI.  Other applications as needed:
A. Microsoft Office or Open Office (which install their own hooks into everything else)
C. Corel PaintShop Pro
D. P2P Apps (not necessarily in this order):
1. eMule,
2. SoulSeek,
3. DCC++,
4. Azureus/Vuze,
5. BitComet,
6. AnalogX BitPump,
7. BitTornado,
8. XBT,
9. uTorrent + updated ipfilter.dat,
E.  TorrentSpy, MakeTorrent ... apps
F.  CD/DVD burning applications:
1.  NOTE:  Regarding most Packet-Writing software (ie: Nero InCD, Roxio DirectCD, etc.) for CD-RW's and DVD-RW's:
a.  has always been NOTORIOUSLY unstable!
b.  Known for MANY System Hangs / Crashes / Blue Screens of Death
c.  I only install it for READING the CDRW's I have already made over year's past.
2.  NOTE:  Windows XP can burn CD file compilations natively, most people are just unaware of this.
3.  Alcohol 120% (My preferred burner and imager, for simple things).
4.  Nero Ultra (my preferred media creation tool for advanced things)
5.  Roxio Media Creator (Used to be my favorite, for it's unbeaten speed within earlier versions)
G. CDisplay, Picasa, Google Images RSS ScreenSaver,
H. TotalIdea's FireTune (to tune-up FireFox before using it), and I miss the old IE ZAK
I. FLVPlayer, SafeFlash or GetFlash
J. A/V ripping / conversion apps:
1.  Adaptec ASPI Layer 4.72 for Windows XP/32,
2.  GSpot,
3.  GraphEdit,
4.  GoldWave,
5.  VirtualDub,
6.  VirtualDubMod,
7.  NANdub,
8.  AVISynth,
9.  FFDshow SSE 2008 beta,
10. EAC (Exact Audio Copy),
11. dbPowerAmp + AccurateRIP database,
12. Tau LP/Record Analyzer
K. RoadKil's Unstoppable Copier, BurstCopy (for long file copy/move operations)
L. CRCheck32, SpeedySFV, md5summer, QuickPAR,
M. Naora Picker +
N. The Godfather (the ABSOLUTE BEST FREE MP3 Library Tagger/Renamer/Organizer EVER!!)
O. GUI enhancements for Windows:
1.  Madotate v2.02 3D GUI swing,
2.  Windows Enabler,
3.  Resource Hacker,
4.  Resource Explorer,
5.  PowerMenu
6.  AudioExplorer DLL
7.  Febooti Command-line email SMTP sender
8.  FreeShade
9.  ObjectDock (free)
10. WindowBlinds (by StarDock, $$)
11. StyleXP + GUI studio
12. VCom's Boot Manager,
13. OR hmmnsoft's boot studio
14. Ditto Clipboard manager (free/open-source)
15. Humanised - Enso
16. Launchy
17. RSS Reader apps
i.   (or use Firefox's via Live Bookmarks or InfoRSS,
ii.  or Google Desktop's sidebar
iii. (or use Firefox's via Live Bookmarks or InfoRSS)
P.  U3 Launcher for my USB key drive, which has the following portable apps on it:
1.  Avast! Anti-Virus
2.  Trillian IM
3.  Medic-Alert personal medical information database
4.  "Find My U3" (a minimal Lo-Jack tracking / owner-alert system for lost/stolen U3 key drives)
5.  Encase v4.x Forensic Data Recovery Software
6.  ISO-Buster v1.x " " " " for CDs/DVDs
7.  Dan's Boot and Nuke floppy,
8.  Tom's Root Boot Linux on a floppy
9.  QNX GUI "Neutrino" OS+Browser on a boot floppy, both LAN and dial-up modem versions - very inspirational

XVII.  (Then, ideally, this, my item 17, SHOULD be to make a Hard Disk IMAGE of all my system areas (ie: "ghosting" to an image file) but i have never had to do this very often yet.  In a work environment however, this would be a strict need, beyond any doubt.)
A.  I would do this by installing: Symantec Ghost, Acronis DiskImager, or PowerQuest's imager...
1.  Rebooting under 1 of those utilities or into a "LiveCD" whereas the installed Windows system is NOT running
2.  Imaging all of the system areas to an external drive or 2nd/extra free/empty partition to hold the image file
3.  Reboot the computer back into Windows
4.  BURN the image file as a file onto a DVD 4/9GB Data disc.
B.  Voila!  System Functionality has been backed up, and now I have an Instant 911 Emergency System Restore DVD.
1.  Possible later project ideas for this include making a Khauyeung-like BartPE/WinPE "LiveCD" Restoration DVD

Rinse, lather, repeat!
Now all you LAMERS:  R.T.F.M. !!!

PS:  Thank you to the Mr. Klaus Knopper and his Knoppix Linux Live DVDs!  Thanks also to the "Bart PE Project" for ERD and data recovery, to Microsoft's Windows PE media format Initiative, and to Michael K.H. Au-Yeung, without whom (and the inspiration therefrom) and whose custom rescue CD's/DVD's, much of this outlined work would never have been possible!