Creating an image of my Windows XP computer and burning it on to CD or DVD

I want to setup my home computer with Windows XP Professional, all the applications I wish to use, printers, Direcway Internet software, screensavers, AIM (AOL instant messenger), etc.   I want to be able to setup my computer completely, then create a bootable image of my computer setup. I wish to create the image on bootbale CD's or DVD's.  I want to do this to enable myself to wipe my hard drive clean and install the image I created when and if my computer should need a fresh start.  I tried using Norton Ghost before, but I had no luck.  I originally wanted to Ghost the image to a spare hard drive, then when the time came, Ghost the image back to the original drive, to get a fresh start.  I think it would be easier if I were to put the time and effort into creating image CD's or DVD's.  However, I'm not sure how to do this, or what software I should purchase.  Any help I can get would be appreciated.  Thank you in advance.
JOEinMARYLANDAsked:
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sriwiCommented:
Do you know that you can use ghost again to burn to cd/DVD ?

you can even create an automated one, as the recovery cd for most of the laptop manufacturer gives you.

step required:

1. Dump your original image that you are happy with on another Hdd, using ghost
2. Using the ghost boot disk, edit the autoexec.bat file to match the image that you created, also you need to put in cdrom.sys and have config.sys recognised the cd-rom in dos.
3. After all of that preparation, you just need use DVD-burner with nero, create a bootable DVD-ROM, choose the bootfile from the ghost floppy, then include your image into compilation.
4. burn the DVD and you have a recovery disk now.

cheers
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khermansCommented:
You may want to check out Powerquest Drive Image 7.0, but this just got bought by Symantec and a new Ghost product was released.  I have used DI 7.0 many times in production environments and it is okay - maybe the new Symantec Ghost 9.0 will work better for you though.  I assume that Symantec bought Drive Image from Powerquest just to use the code in Ghost 9.0.  Either may work for you...

http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_description/0,fid,7022,00.asp
http://www.powerquest.com/sabu/ghost/ghost_personal/

Kristian Hermansen
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JOEinMARYLANDAuthor Commented:
Ok, thank you both so far!  i still have some questions however:
Step 1:  I will try using either Drive Image 7.0 or Ghost 9.0
Step 2:  I checked my autoexec.bat file (At the command prompt i typed in edit autoexec.bat) and there was nothing listed.
1.  How do i get the autoexec.bat file to match the image I have created?
2.  Do I add the cdrom.sys line to autoexec.bat or config.sys?
Step 3:
1.  Will Roxio dvd burning software work as well as Nero?
2.  Will the imaging software I choose to use (Drive Image 7 or Ghost 9) give me the opportunity to create a floppy disk with the bootfile files on it?
I am trying this for the first time.  I have no idea what I'm doing!  I do appreciate all the help you all have given me so far! thank you!
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khermansCommented:
You should really check out the new Symantec Ghost 9.0.  There is no need to edit these boot files that the other poster has suggested if you use the latest Ghost product.  You can easily use their own bootable CD to launch into their recovery environment, without editing anything.  You can then swap out the CD/DVD discs as you go to restore the backups, or even better, restore from an external hard drive which is really nice.  Ghost 9.0 is really user friendly and should be able to walk ou through everything with nice wizards.  Check that out before getting into heavy file editing...

> 1.  Will Roxio dvd burning software work as well as >Nero?
Nero is far better than Roxio products.  Grab Nero 6.6 Ultra Edition for its vast feature set for producing high quality CD/DVD media formats containing a myrid number of data.

> 2.  Will the imaging software I choose to use (Drive >Image 7 or Ghost 9) give me the opportunity to create a >floppy disk with the bootfile files on it?
Sometimes, but Windows can do that for you.  Just right click on A:\ floppy drive and select FORMAT.  Then choose the option at the bottom that says "Create System Dick".  You're good to go...

Kristian Hermansen
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