I currently have xp sp2 installed and use acronis to clone a hard drive image.what i was wondering ... if i change to a dual boot linux/xp set up... Will i be able to create a entire drive image of both o/s including the bootloader? Also is it poss to still create just a image of the xp partition to restore from, leaving the bootloader and linux in tact. I will still have a entire drive image with just xp to fall back on for that eventuality. What do other dual booter/acronis members do?
I don't think you'll be able to create an image of both systems because the file system used in Linux is entirely different to the Windows system and Linux have their own backup programs, I use Mondoarchive and Mondorestore for Linux.
You will be able to make a backup of XP on it's own. You haven't mentioned what Linux version you are using but if it uses Grub as the bootloader you can make a backup of /boot/grub/menu.lst which contains the settings.