Backing up WoW and/or patches

Technical Support
Right after I had downloaded the 4.0.1 patch, around the beginning of November, I had fun for about a day playing the pre-Cataclysm quests...until my beloved 9800GTX+ died on 6 November, right after I'd been admiring the new sunshaft effects. I'm now using the old 8400GS that came with this computer when I got it two and a half years ago....ouch. Big difference.

After the card died, I formatted my machine to be sure that everything was clean, and to rule out any other issues. Thus, I had to redownload the entire patch over again, which took days for me due to my internet being snarky lately. Since I had patched before the card's death, all the changes had been implemented into my chars, so I couldn't play until the thing was done, a week, yes, a week later.

So my question is, is there a way to back up the game, and/or its patches, so that they can be replaced onto my hard disk in the proper location, so that I don't have to undergo that painful process again? I format 1-2 times a year, so it would be really nice to be able to back the game up somehow. I do have the discs from WoW on through WotLK(because having them on a physical medium is really nice), and will be getting Cataclysm CE in December.

Thanks in advance!
You can literally just copy (or compress) the WoW directory, and that will be a functional backup.

WoW does not store any data (that it cannot replace) in the Windows registry hive, and all client settings are in the WoW folder itself.

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