Very basic question, I think the answer is "Yes", but need to be certain.
Note: I can't count on "restore points", since they do not work on my XP machine.
1) Make a backup of the entire registry on date (example date 1).
2) In the future, if I need to restore all installed programs (and all registry settings), then using the file created on (example date 1) will do this.
Since it is important, I need to ask again a slightly different way: My XP is currently more important than the Vista notebook.
XP / Compaq / ~4 years old
1) One type of system restore does work; All the settings + installed programs are exactly like day 1, but no data files or program files are destroyed.
2) At that point I have to re-install 4 years worth of commercial and FOSS programs.
3) #2 is what I have to avoid doing again.
Will this work? (4a + 4b)
4a) If needed: Restore to day 1 with all data files and program files intact. (Please Note: My Compaq "system restore to day 1", does not erase program files)
4b) Use the most recent registry backup file to re-install all my programs at once.
^^^^ Will Step #4b work as expected, and all the programs are 're-installed?'
Thank you for advice