I have partitioned my hard disk into two logicals. I use one for executables and the other for data. Backing up Data (D) to an external USB hard drive is a non issue, but backing-up the system partition is not so simple. I thought I would automatically make an image file of the Sys (C) partition every night and store it on a removable 32GB SMI ATA drive; over write the previous days backup, and once a week copy it to my external hard drive. The estimated size of the image file was about 15GB. The first step was to run a cleaner to remove temporary files, followed a protection program, followed by an optimizer to compact the registry and defragment the drive, and then I would backup, validate and shut-off the computer. This procedure is still has not been implemented to the point where it runs dependably without consuming alot of operator time and attention. The first problem encountered was the cleaner hung-up. It said files were running in the back ground. I wondered what files were running; never recieved an intelligent answer; finally I decided to change cleaners. I now run cCleaner and I like it. The next problem was the anti-virus software failed to detect malware and AI had a problem. I changed software three times, now run MSE, not sure how good it is, there are issues with it hogging CPU cycles. It does start on schedule, run and shut-off. I now use PCTools, Optimization Toolkit, and I like it. It has many features for example it lets me shut-off background processes set to start at startup. It start's automatically on schedule, but when the routine completes instead of shutting off it say, "Press Continue." I use Acronis, True Image Home 2011 backup software. The UI is not friendly, but it does everything. I would like to make a side-by-side with other backup programs. In addition to automatically making an image file of the system partition I want to make zip files of certain Applicsation Data files and installation configurations. I would love to have some helpful advise on these matters.