This may be my first post, but I've had the best success using Clonezilla. I boot my system to the Clonezilla Live image on a USB thumb drive, then plug in my external USB drive. I use the easy to understand menus and in a few minutes I have an (much smaller) image of my internal hard disk sitting pretty on my External hard disk. I know I can restore the image to a larger drive, and I know to some extents on even a smaller drive than what was imaged, as it only snapshots used data blocks. Anyhow, I now have several images of this machine I'm typing on now, and in a few minutes I can boot that USB thumb drive, use the menus, and select the image that I'd like... presto chango I have any of the following: Suse Linux, XP Pro, Vista Ultimate 64... each one set up in what I call "pristine" condition. It makes toying with the same OS much more enjoyable.