How can I create an image or i guess a backup of XP with all the software i want already loaded on there and then deploy on many computers within a company?

Thanks

3rd party program like, norton chost

will ghost create an image of the hard drive with all the programs already loaded on there or just a backup of the files? and do i have to go around to each PC to install or can i deploy remotely?

will ghost create an image of the hard drive with all the programs already loaded on there or just a backup of the files? and do i have to go around to each PC to install or can i deploy remotely?

the first part i can answer ,yes ghost make exact image of drive ,don't know enough about networking so i can't answer 2nd part .

also unless u have the volume licencing version of XP pro it will fail product activation

Yes, you can remotely deploy a ghost image. This is done using a boot disk and an image on a network drive.
Also, if you don't have a volume licensing version you can still deploy the same Ghost image to multiple machines without violating your licensing arrangement by using Sys Prep before creating the image. That assumes that you have sufficient separate license keys though (sysprep will strip the SID's and you have to enter the separate ones after the image is loaded).

there is a special sollution for system deployment. here you can read more