Its called ghosting ur harddrive.... I belive u can get the program to ghost ur hd at western digitals website... there is a download there for a program that will format fdisk and ghost your harddrive. U need 2 harddrives to do this tho
You know, I decided that I need some software to make a backup copy of my HDD. So I was searching and compare for several days, and stopped at hard drive backup software. I think it's the easiest backup method. So you just need create an exact image of important partition (or of the whole HDD), and make a bootable CD, it takes reasonable amount of space.
Then you could format your HDD after that restore from CD your OS and all apps with needed data. Usually, it takes me about 10 minutes.