OK. I made a rescue CD. Put the CD in a drawer. Forget about it.
I'm using the built-in backup to back up my drive to a USB drive. I want enough info on the backup that I could take a new, empty drive, slap it in the machine, boot from the CD I made in the last paragraph, restore the backup, and boot the machine. I should have everything back.
Now, with other backup tools I would just image the whole disk. but this offers a "system image" option plus a checklist of directories. The question is: if I choose the "system image" option plus the whole drive (excluding my CD library), will the image be spuriously large because it will contain two copies of some things, one because they are in the "system image" and one because I chose to backup the whole disk which includes /windows and /program\ files and so forth.
Hope I got it clear this time. Many words. My fingers are sore.