I say 'again' because I am still fighting this dragon.
And I'm not too proud to admit it -- now; (---there just comes a time .... <g>).
I have been trying for many years now -- starting with very early Acronis True Images(versions 2/3, 4, 8, 10 ? -- I forgot). I know I bought several though the years. None worked for me at all.
Recently I made more determined, valiant tries again; this time trying Easeus and Macrium etc. Even bought one (!) - Partition Master Pro; but they say (in their support forum) I bought the 'wrong' program, so I didn't even try it. [I think it is a case of them not understanding what I want to do.]
I tried Easeus ToDo Backup 4.5. It did something with back up but, with my system of 17 GB, the resultant 'backup' is only 1.9 GB -- that can't be bigger enough. (I didn't try to check it tho.) And no way to send it, directly, to a USB external HD.)
And Easeus, on system (imaging?), offers only limited 'off system' -- no USB external HD etc..
I don't want images stored on my HD (seems, to me, not smart), i want them stored 'off system' -- USB SSD, external HD, even DVD, or even bootable CD.
With Macrium (new v5.0/free), they apparently limit imaging to only CD/DVD.
So, again, I failed to produce a image (that I can use/test).
It seems, of late, the 'free' programs are being phased into 'trials' -- a least in Easeus.
[I have been 'researching' a lot of late too. Including some interesting Lounge
I realize , with my long history of unsuccessful attempts, that I may have muddied the waters. Meaning: maybe my thinking is somewhat 'tainted'.
In that case, any 'straightening out' of my thinking, would be appreciated.
Bottom line -- :
All I want to do, is image my HDs (both working and 'clean' (and newly setup) systems. I have quite a number of systems, desktops and laptops. And test the resulting images for being valid. Some bootable CD capability.
I only have limited interest in automatic file backup. (I do it, of course, but using my own methods.)
Just so readers know, in spite of my earlier ramblingness, I am really a 'computer guy'; in fact, been around computers since they made with discreet transistors -- and that is really old. <G> So it is OK to 'talk turkey' to me.
It's just that the whole "imaging" arena, as presented to me though the years, leaves me 'in the dust'. And I'm trying to catch up.
Sorry about overly long post, but it was festering for a long time.