If you're using Vista Home Premium, you're missing out on the backup program built into Vista Ultimate. That utility lets you make images that exactly duplicate a disk or partition, byte for byte. Through it you can easily restore a failed disk with the operating system, files, and settings running as they did before the crash. An unpolished-but-free way to add this feature to Vista Home Premium is DriveImage XML from Runtime Software. I used version 1.21.