Dont' worry, you are not the first one confused about the whole stuff and with the terminology used (which often is confusing).
Simplified (but not much) what you see in the rows of Disk Manager (named as Disk0, Disk 1, etc.) are "disks".
What you see inside the rows are "partitions" (parts of the disks) that contain "volumes". or "drives", i.e. what get a "drive letter" and you normally access in Explorer.
A disk is the whole thing and includes:
1) the MBR, or first absolute sector of the device
2) a given number of "hidden sectors", usually 62 or 2047
3) one (or more) partition(s), a partition (if of the type primary) is to all the practical effects the same thing as a "volume" or a "drive", whilst a partition (of the type "extended") may contain one or more such "volumes" or "drives".
4) some unused/excess space (usually at the end, but might be (rarely) in "gaps" between partitions
The MBR (Master Boot Record) contains some code and a "partition table" where the addresses of the partitions (that as said are either a "drive" or contain "drives") are located.
The DriveImageXML is intended to save/backup the "drive" (which for all practical purposes you can think as the "whatever gets a drive letter in Explorer"), i.e. items in #3 above only.
#2 and #4 are normally unused and not useful anyway and there is no reason to save/backup them normally.
#1 is instead useful and necessary in a "total" recovery (also sometimes referred to as "bare metal" recovery).
Though it is perfectly possible to re-create the MBR from scratch, using the information contained in the images of the drives, it is not intuitive/easy, particularly in a situation where the user is already stressed by the malfunctioning that led to the need for restoring the backup images. so it is advised to make a copy of it anf keep it together with the saved image(s) of the drive(s), as it costs nothing to do such a copy when creating the backup and having it saves time when/if there is a need for restoring and - for *whatever reasons* - the MBR has been deleted or was corrupted.
Think of two different possible disaster scenarios:
1) the disk drive (the device) is working fine and only a volume (or drive) is corrupted and needs to be restored
2) the disk drive (the device) is malfunctioning and you need to replace it and restore to the new device the contents from the backups.
In case #1 the image(s) taken with DriveImageXML is/are all is needed.
In case #2 the image(s) taken with DriveImageXML need to be integrated by a newly made or restored MBR.
Since it costs nothing (or next to nothing) to make a copy of the MBR, it is a good idea to make one, even if it will be never used.
Some more details in this (via Wayback Machine):
You can use this little tool, HDhacker:
don't be misled by the name, it is a plain simple tool useful to save (and restore) a MBR, you want to run it and make a copy of the first sector of the PhysicalDrive (the disk), then save it to a file. You can make sure to select the right PhysicalDrive# (it will very likely be 0, as in a laptop there is usually only a single disk) by checking in Disk Manager, the disk 0 is PhysicalDrive0, the disk 1 is PhysicalDrive1, etc.).
Back to the main "Winbuilder", the idea is to create a Windows PE from a "source" install DVD.
The install DVD means a "standard" install DVD from Microsoft or an image of it (.iso), the *need* for an original install DVD is only because the Winbuilder projects are an automated way to create the PE, and it wouldn't be practical/feasible to adapt the project .scripts to each and every slightly different DVD made by OEM's (historically the worst nightmares were the customized install CD's/DVD/s by DELL and HP, as an example).
In your case (as it often happens BTW in the last 10 years or so), you don't even have an install DVD, but rather a "recovery DVD", which more or less contains already a WinPE and an image of the disk as it was when it left the factory, the problem is that some of such PE's (cannot say yours specifically) are "narrowed" to automatically apply the existing image (and nothing else) and thus by running it you would obtain something very similar to the "reset to factory" you may be familiar with regarding smartphones, the device is restored to a point in time before you had it, and thus all your data, preferenmces, settings, etc., etc. are lost.
In some case it is very easy to "adapt" the PE inside the "recovery DVD" to a more "generic" PE and/or to adapt it to be the "source" Winbuilder requires, but yes, it implies anyway some IT knowledge, or however the will (and time) needed to learn some fundamentals, so it is not advised in your case.
But you can still create a PE downloading a suitable source, such as the VIsta or the Windows 7 AIK as there is no real need that the PE used for restoring is built from exactly the same OS as the one is installed, as a matter of fact it is totally irrelevant what environment is used, as long as it allows the DriveImageXML (and the optional MBR restoring tool) to operate, in this the good guys @runtime.org made a very wise choice providing an alternative Linux based environment (that - unlike *any* WinPE - merely for copyright/licensing reasons) they can distribute pre-built and ready to be burned/used as recovery environment.
The Windows Vista AIK is still available here:
but I am not so sure that there are projects still maintained that can use that as source, in case the Windows 7 AIK would be advised:
If you prefer, what most of the people on forums like reboot.pro are looking for is a "generic" and "wide" PE capable of doing "everything" and run "everything", while your *need* is much more "vertical", you need an environment which can be used to run DriveImageXML to restore an image (and that's it).
So, for a "general" tool there may be preferences by each person previous knowledge of the base OS (and people familiar with Dos/Windows may have some initial difficulties with Linux, and viceversa people familiar with Linux/*nix may have some initial difficulties with a Windows based PE) but in a very "vertical" use such as yours none of this will apply.