|Hi G, I use Norton Ghost, which works fine for me.|
It can be run when I want and each time, creates a completely separate backup file on my external usb disk, containing everything from whichever drive I have selected. When the external drive becomes full I delete the oldest backup(s).
It has powerful restore features for just one file or many, one folder or many, or the entire disc. I believe it can be used to transfer the entire disc including os to another pc.
Have to be careful with the version number though, as for example I have W2000 and the latest Ghost version I can use is version 10.
Almost certainly one of your friends has a copy they have not used, as Ghost comes bundled with Norton Internet Security etc.
Please advise back what you decided.
Good Luck - Keep us posted.