How Windows Backup Works

Could someone explain how/what the Windows Backup utility work? If I choose to backup the entire hard drive, does it backup the entire OS image, including all the configuration files? If my OS gets screwed up and requires a reinstallation, could I boot with the rescue CD and restore it from the backup?
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freshairAsked:
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michkoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
No.  You can use Windows Backup to save your files and settings.  If you then wipe the disk, you'll have to format and reinstall Windows, all programs, and updates.  Then you can restore your files and settings using the data saved by Windows Backup.
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michkoCommented:
These articles give some good information:
http://searchwincomputing.techtarget.com/tip/0,289483,sid68_gci1219661,00.html
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/learnmore/bott_03july14.mspx

If you're looking at a full system backup, you should look more toward Acronis. www.Acronis.com

Windows backup does not backup asn an image.
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
These Microsoft articles explain it pretty well:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;308422
How To Use Backup to Back Up Files and Folders on Your Computer in Windows XP

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;309340
How to use Backup to restore files and folders on your computer in Windows XP

This site has a nice tutorial with screenshots:

http://helpdesk.its.uiowa.edu/backup/msbackup.htm
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
I agree with michko about using Acronis instead, to back up the entire drive as an image.  Here's the latest tool:

http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
freshair, any feedback?
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freshairAuthor Commented:
So basically, if I intend to wipe the entire disk then there is absolutely no way to use Windows Backup to restore it?
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