My main HD has several partitions and op systems on it: MS DOS, Windows ME and XP. The file systems accordingly are FAT-16, FAT-32 and NTFS. I use Boot Magic to boot into any of the op systems but the default is Win XP. I'd like to be able to backup this entire HD with all its partitions, including the boot sectors, to my external USB-2/Firewire drive so if that HD goes bad, I could restore its backup to another HD with identical geometry and after the restore I want to be able to boot up with that new HD as I was able to with the old one. Which method of backup would give me the best assurance for being able to accomplish this? Cloning only? I'm not sure if the regular backup also saves the master boot record and sectors as it seems to be partition oriented and the MBR is really outside of any partition as I understand it. Also, would I be better off creating such backups with the rescue linux software or backing up in Win XP would also work. Though I wonder about the latter because some files will always be locked due to some Windows process using them. So would they be still backed up with their integrity maintained? Thanks for any suggestions on this from those who know what they are talking about.