Okay folks, I've rebuilt my home machine after last week's meltdown, reloaded XP compatible drivers for my external CD writer and scanner, bought Drive Image and loaded it, and sacrificed a chicken and danced naked around it at midnight.
I've made the rescue diskettes per Drive Image, However, the Drive Image program will not recognize my external CD writer, which is where I wanted to image my hard drive. At present, I've imaged it to another internal hard drive, but that strikes me as not the safest solution.
Following the Drive Image manual and last minute insert, I left a CD-R out of the writer until reboot commenced, and all other variations on that theme, but the DI program kept looking for disks in the A Drive.
Although I have some limited form of security now, I'd feel better with the drive imaged on external media - any suggestions from you knowledgeable folks?