You could get some like Ghost Walker and cut an image of your present drive, that will serve you as a backup. Even if you lost your XP CD. Used to do that when I worked as System Manager, now I build Airplaines (better carer change ).
A small history lesson...
PCLOS is made by an exMandriva forum member called TexTar (Texas Star) and he uses the Mandriva spin off to create his Live Distro. He did a pretty good job on it when came out, as time went by, so the Kernel advanced, seems to be locked up behind. So that can explain why you said about the older Kernel.
He also uses Synaptic instead of URPMI and the Repositories are preloaded.
When the Repos are preloaded creates an advantage and disadvantage.
The Advantage is transparent to th User when want to install some, is configured already. The Disadvantage if th Repos are down or have a bad packet, you get a bad install.
The Advantage for the user to give them the power to set the repos is, the flexibility and if is having trouble with one, can use another (they are all over the world). Some repos are down or too busy, so you can change them at will.
The Disadvantage is when installed, there is nothing but the DVD data. If the user is not aware of it, will hate the distro since they majority think on the Microsoft way (Fetch, Download, Install, Use and pray that works as desired).