The question really is: Do you need something to recover a crashed laptop, a virus-loaded laptop, or do you want something to back up your laptop so you can recover easier (aka prevention)?
For a crashed (or crashing) laptop, there is only one solution: Spinrite at grc.com. This works wonders and is worth the $90. Don't be fooled by it's tiny (3.5" floppy) size -- it's written in assembler by GRC's sole owner, Steve Gibson. Spinrite also works on SSDs (using level 1, max level 2). Get it, slap it on a CD, boot into it, scan your drive. It'll take a while but it's worth the wait and price.
For a virus loaded laptop, pull a copy of the AVG Rescue CD, and boot into it. Scan your system. Then switch to MalwareBytes and let it clean up your system.
If you Windows install is completely hosed, grab a Knoppix CD and use it to dig through your laptop and copy your data to an external USB drive. This is Linux for the win.
For prevention, there's numerous ways including Carbonite or even setting up a Raspberry Pi with a large desktop HD (or even a USB based Drobo) and setting up a "Time Machine for Unix" scheme.