Backup question

I have a locally built Windows XP computer.  I bought it second hand from a company that went out of business.  I just noticed that there is no COA on the case.  What can I do to back up the hard drive so that I if it fails or there is some other system catastrophe, I can restore the computer to a functional status, understanding that reinstalling the Windows XP operating system doesn't seem to be an option without a COA.  
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You can back up everything including the windows install itself using an imaging utility. There numerous ones available, and it really depends on how many machines you plan on backing up and how much you're wanting to spend.
You can windows Inbuilt tool Ntbackup to take the system state backup of the computer
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Do you have XP media?  You can retrieve your key from any number of programs - I like System Information for Windows (SIW).  Just make sure the key you have works with your media - there are TYPES of media and TYPES of keys - they are not tied to ONE SPECIFIC disk, but to a type of disk.  For example, the OEM key won't work with the RETAIL copy you would buy in the store.  

The CoA could have fallen off, been peeled off, or never been applied (especially if you have a "custom built" computer).

The only way to identify the key type is to run a test install and install the Key.  If it takes, cancel the install, if it doesn't, you know you don't have the right key/media.

Otherwise, Imaging software, as has been mentioned, is your best option as imaging software USUALLY includes "bare metal" recovery (meaning restore without first doing a typical reinstallation - NTBackup requires a reinstallation first to recover the OS, so that's really not a good option for you.

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rreiss60Author Commented:
Thank you!
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