I am attempting to create a backup image of a system deployed on a machine now. Then I would like to deploy this image on a different computer. Despite driver incompatibilities is this possible/recommended?
There's a lot of subject matter on this topic. A lot more than can be covered in a single answer. I will neglect to link you to anything simply because of the sheer volume of information out there and the variety of ways this can be accomplished. (Use your Google-Fu.)
In a nutshell:
I say mostly because of the Windows XP tag on your question. You'll need to pay attention to HAL when you prepare an image. If the HAL driver doesn't match you will have problems deploying the image.
It is definitely possible and recommended to create and deploy images. It's a great way to keep a consistent environment.
Yes, it is possible, and the only drawback that I can possibly think is about hardware compatibility, as you pointed out. But removing wrong drivers and installing correct ones shouldn't be too difficult.
Another consideration (maybe obvious, but obvious thing are the ones that are slipped most frequently) that you should make, is to be sure that the destination hard drives are big enough to hold the source cloned image; if you are unsure, you might want to reduce the source partition(s) to a minimal size, and enlarging them back once they will be deployed on the new machines.
Clonezilla can be used to clone entire hard drives or single partitions; cloning itself is a different process than a simple file based data backup.
When you perform a file based backup, basically you are copying files from a place to another (usually on another physical drive); you can think your hard drives as "boxes" where your files are "put inside" as "content" ; if you have a source 100 GB hard drive, which contains only 10 GB, and you perform a file backup, you are effectively duplicating just the "content", so the destination hard drive should be big enough to contain 10 GB of data, not 100 GB.