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Computer help - creating backup disks

The Mitchell
ok so essentially i want to create a new backup disk so that i can restore my computer to its fresh new windows state. The only thing is i dont want to have to work my way through loads of programs to reinstall them. Does anyone know how to create some sort of restore disk for windows so that it restores itself to a point where all my programs are installed. Either that or anyone know how to make a disk which will install all the programs i tell it to in one huge lump. Preferably one that keeps cd keys too?
You can use an imaging application like Acronis TrueImage AFTER you install Windows and your applications. You will need a separate disk to save the image to. You can create a boot CD for TrueImage that allows you to backup and restore your image.
The Mitchell
ok so just out of interest. if my applications and installs take up 40GB on my hard drive. will i need 40GB worth of DVDs to back stuff up onto?
Two things - first Acronis writes to hard disks - not DVD so you would need a second internal hard drive or a supported external drive.

Second, the size does not have to match exactly. Acronis TrueImage has compression so depending on the compression level, you might need considerably less than 40GB.
The Mitchell
ok thats cool so in theory i should need somewhere near the size of the windows drive in storage space. Secondly is there no way in which i can ghost to a dvd at all? i dont really have the hd space although i could probably get it if needs be i suppose.
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