I recently purchased Retrospect Backup v. 7 to help me implement Peter's backup suggestions. I have barely scratched the surface with it, and really need to spend some more time in the 300+ page manual, but I am trying to figure out the best way to use it to 1) backup all of my images and 2) backup my OS (WinXP) and programs. I am currently using the "Backup" option for both; for images, I simply point it to my "Pictures" folder, and for my OS I point it to my System/Programs drive (I have a separate RAID 0 partition with only my OS and programs), but when I get to the "Selections" option, I am a little unsure. I can select "All Files" (with or without cache), "OS only," or "OS and programs." Currently I am selecting all files without cache, but my question is whether this will actually create a backup that I could transfer to a clean hard drive, install in my computer, and then run as if it were my old (presumably dead, if I'm doing this) drive.
Retrospect also has a "Duplicate" option (instead of "Backup"), which says it creates a dublicate of the source volume on the destination volume. That sounds like mirroring/imaging, so maybe it's better. But then why does "Backup" allow you to choose your OS or OS and programs if you cannot use that to create a new boot disk?
Obviously, I have a lot to learn about this powerful program. I haven't even tried scripts yet, although I would really like to get there so that I can have my backing up done automatically each night. I know several people here use other backup software, but if anyone knows anything about Retrospect I would like to hear from you. Thanks.