Just a quick note- I finally purchased Acronis TI v11 for PC Vista machine. As Dan has pointed out, a very usable program, which I had no problem at all using to backup, and to check results by restoring selected files. I imaged my internal HD (75gb right now) onto an external HD, full backup- took just under 1 hour. (This is longer than I'd calculated, but perfectly acceptable. I guess that would make a full 500gb drive, really 465gb of files, be around 465/75= 6 hours. Again, if necessary, an overnight operation).
I plan to partition the internal drive (maybe using Aronis' Disk Director) for apps/OS, and data, which as discussed here would allow for more efficient imaging of each smaller partition.
A couple of things:
1. I bought a 'box version' of this product, since the box comes with a Bootable CD (I was not confident of doing the creation correctly- though I now see Acronis walks one through the process quite easily). For those seeking a box version of TI (not the easiest thing to find), I got mine at J&R Music World/Computer World. (www.JR.com
2. A very inexperienced question: looking at Disk Director, Acronis says one ought to make a backup CD of the downloaded software as soon as possible (in case the original program is lost on the HD). I was wondering- exactly what should be backed up to CD? The files that are downloaded from Acronis (I assume a zipped set of files)? The unzipped files in the 'Acronis\Disk_director' folder (or whatever it is named)?
Realizing this is a basic question, but hey, I don't know the answer, so gotta ask.
Thanks for helpful forum replies, as always. (I will also be setting up Genie for incremental backup of non-media files, since I see the value of this as well and clearly this is the application of choice in these threads.)