I have a friend who recently has decided to reinstall XP on his computer, in order to improve his computer's performance. While I know how to backup his data and re-install from his XP disc, I did have some uncertainty before we commenced. For one thing, is it more effective to backup his files and programs manually? He has an external hard drive, and while he doesn't have a lot of data to backup (about 20 GB) I just wasn't sure if this was the easier route. If we do a backup with a backup program, it might bring along all the registry keys, old files, and other junk he is trying to shed with this new installation.
On the other hand, if we manually drag and drop everything, I'm worried we might miss something. Additionally, a manual backup might only get the files, and not the programs themselves. Thus, he would have to re-install every single program, which would be inconvenient. Is there a backup program that would make the entire backup AND restore process easier, without losing anything, or bringing anything he wouldn't want? The goal here is to aim for a clean an installation as possible, while still effectively preserving everything that must be saved.