I recently purchased a netbook obviously without an optical drive , and wondered if there is any software that will backup the whole operating system to a bootable memory flash drive as I was not given a system disk and there does not seem to be a facility to recover in case of a catastrophic crash . Most backups only seem to save personal data .
You will probably find that there is a restore partition hidden on the hard drive, which is accessed by pressing a particular function key just after the netbook is switched on. If available this will allow you to do a "factory restore" which will put your netbook back to a similar situation as it was in when you purchased it. What it won't do is look after your data, which will be completely lost if you use the restore option.
To look after everything you will need to use an imaging programme like Acronis Disk Image, Norton Ghost or something similar and backup everything to an external drive.
If you tell us which particular netbook you have someone on here might be able to give you more specific help.
Both my netbooks have the same options. When it boots up I am offered two choices: Boot into Windows or restore the system as new. If I do nothing it boots to Windows after a 2 second wait. There is also the option to copy all the installation files to a pen drive of at least 2Gb. This will be needed in the event of hdd failure. But if that happened I think I would just buy a new netboook. (have you ever tried to get at the hard drive, or anything else, in one of these things).
I would imagine that there must be something similar on your netbook. Both mine are Advent.
A drive can be formatted as FAT, NTFS or several other formats. What the method says is the partition on the USB drive on which you install the backup software must be formatted as FAT.
Although this method is designed to create a single backup, you can rename the file (e.g. from Backup to Backup1) then create further backups. To restore a backup you just have to rename the chosen one to Backup.