Hello soulfood mate how about and image or two or what I used to do a clone of the whole drive. The clone of course is an exact copy of the drive at the time you make it and I used to (when I had only one good machine) keep that clone and if the working drive conked then it was just a matter of taking it out and flipping in or switching over to the clone.
The alternative is to clone to an extrernal drive then clone back to the old drive when you have cleaned it up. I used to clone every week or when I loaded a lot of apps to keep it up to date (doesn't take long) and I was ready to go.
Macrium is very good for those functions. Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
< be careful if the download comes through a mirror site it might have add ons ie Google toolbar. But always worth checking any download site for that matter.