I have made an image of my hdd onto an external drive. I'd like to do a clean reinstall of windows. How exactly would I go about doing this? I'd like to restore all of the files on the image, except the OS files.
You can only restore the entire image, not part of it, but some image creation applications are able to open the image as a "virtual drive" in Windows so you can restore at file level (ie you can select individual files to restore). Consult your image application's help files to see if yours can do that.