Originally Posted by markush
I use to create a partition of about 20-50 GB (depending on the Windows-Version) and store there a clonezilla-image of the complete Windows-system.
I create the Clonezilla-image when Windows is completely updated and all Software (like e.g. MS-Office) is already installed. The advantage is that I can restore the system relatively fast. The most timeconsuming part when installing Windows is to get all the updates, often there must be a servicepack installed at first. My experience is that completely installing Windows takes about half a day (Win XP or Win 7) but restoring with Clonezilla takes less than an hour.
I used to use the SystemRescueCD tools to do the same thing when I first started using linux. I actually installed the SystemRescueCD to disk which uses very little room and then stored the backup image compressed, when I borked the system it was something like 45 minutes to just restore the OS to a pristine state.
When I used to use windows I would set up partitions to install my programs and store my data, so that I could wipe the system and reinstall without having to reinstall programs or lose data lots of times. I don't know if you can still move the default locations of the standard windows directories.