I need advice on backing up my programs. I have a backup copy of my registry already,so I have that 'covered". I have system recovery and system restore(xp home). I know that using system recovery won't save third party programs. I have some programs copied on cd,but with updates and upgrades programs get outdated. I don't need to backup Windows files because restore/recovery already has them? I need to backup only third-party programs?(almost all of these programs were downloads,no install cd's) I have 1.6 gigs in program files.I could weed out some programs.But not many. Should I compress(zip) the backup? Will zipped files be installable from a CD? Is it better to copy to a cd or have the backups on the pc with a backup manager program like WinRescue or Polder?