After years of struggling with backups, restores and crashed drives, and a month of fighting with a broken Windows7 and having to do a clean install, I found one really bright spot among the murk.
After rebuilding my C: drive with all of my programs on Win7 64-bits, I checked out Acronis True Image Home 2010, with the Plus Pack, downloaded from their website. Having some 6 Gb of stuff on my C: drive, I used Acronis to clone the drive to a larger and faster drive. I thought something went wrong as it finished in less than 15 minutes, but I looked at the destiniation drive and it had the same amount of used space.
This morning I gingerly switched the 2 drives (eSATA) and lo and behold! The clone drive booted and started my Win7; all of my programs seem to be working fine except for Vertus Fluid Mask, a Photoshop plug-in. However, Vertus supplied a way to go back to the other drive, upload to their website the data with my unlock code, switch drives and then have Fluid Mask download the registration data, and it did work.
I am not an Acronis employee or relative, but I sure as heck am an advocate for their simple and rapid cloning software. I will make other types of backups of other data, but once a week I will re-clone my C: drive and sleep much more easily!