I presume the disk made 2 years ago was made from the recovery partition of the laptop. If this is so the disk you made will only return the PC to the condition it was in when you bought it.
What have you made your `backups` with? To make good backups you need to use software like Acronis True Image on a regular (monthly?) basis. They should also be kept on a separate (external) drive or DVD/CD set as if your drive fails you will not be able to access them. XP has its own backup utility but IMHO it doesn`t compare with the commercial offerings.
The laptop will create Restore points when it updates from MS and with some other software. These points are handy in the event an update or some installed software plays havoc but not as a recovery facility.