I've been using Acronis True Image Home 2011 to make full image backups of my hard drive onto another hard drive. If the drive fails or becomes infected, I can swap drives and boot from the image - and the system will be current as of the date the image was made. I've tested it and it works.
In this week's (Issue 287) Windows Secrets main article we're told we can use Windows 7's own backup to make an image or 'ghost'. After 25 years of witnessing Microsoft's efforts to keep people from cloning Windows, I have this gut feeling that anything they provide would not let me boot a totally independent copy of their OS.
Has anyone used the image/clone feature in in Windows 7 backup and successfully booted on another drive with it?