|Copying programs are a waste of time since you cannot copy them back or onto another computer since they will not work then. You can copy or use the built in back up system to make a back up of your personal files, but don't bother with the programs. IF you want to be able to completely recover in the event that of a complete drive loss without reloading Windows and all of your programs then you will need to make an image of the drive onto the external drive. Windows 7 has this feature built in but I am pretty sure that XP does not (I don't ever remember making an image back then so I am not completely sure). You can however use an aftermarket program to do this. Others will probably post their favorites/suggestions soon. Make sure you keep up a current back up of your files since they change much more often than your system and your programs. That way after you reload your image (maybe a few months old), you can then recover from your back up (probably less than a week old) and be more up to date.|
You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.