You can make image of you drive by using a windows tool ImageX all you have to do is open command prompt from vista CD , click here to know how to open command prompt from vista cd, and go to the path of imagex.exe file and then type in the following command ( I am assuming you want to make image of c: drive and want to store at d:\image\vista.wim you can change as per your requirements)
wait before I tell you the command make points of the following
1) you should clean the drive as much as possible otherwise it will take a long time. typically for more than 15 GB it will take really long.
2) if you want to make image of a drive which is not your OS drive then you can make image from the OS itself no need to boot from vista CD.
and the command is
imagex /capture c: d\image\vista.wim "d drive"
you can type in imagex /capture /? for help on this command.
Now this image can come in great use, you can anytime revert your system at the point you made the image by simply applying the following command
imagex /apply d\image\vista.wim 1 c:
and you will have all your software and drivers installed already, no more headache of installing all software and drivers.