Other than a passing reference that TI doesn't image unused sectors, I was unable to find a satisfying answer using the forum search function. Since TI is recording a bit image of the HDD, how does it actually skip the swap file, hibernate file, etc.? The "mechanics" of the process is what I'm looking for (for lack of a better phrase ) For many months I've been using the following weekly routine: Empty Internet Explorer (IE) cache Run a "cookie" cleaner to kill off unwanted cookies. Run a utility to delete windows *.tmp, *.fts, *.gid, etc. files Empty recycle bin. Run "Eraser" to zero unused sectors and file "tails" Run TI incremental image This "pre-treatment" is like pre-treating your laundry. It gets rid of stuff that I don't need imaged. Since TI compresses the data in the image, having all of the unused (erased and truly unused) sectors on the HDD holding all zeroes instead of leftover file flotsam and random data from the last partition reformat allows TI to compress the "stuff" to the absolute minimum size in the image. I'm sure that zeroing the file tails will continue to be useful, however I'm wondering if TI is actually skipping the portions of the drive that are marked "unused" in the FAT. I should mention that I'm using FAT32, not NTFS, but the question is (probably) still a valid one. So far, my incrementals have been averaging only 125-150 MB per weekly incremental image. If TI will actually skip these empty sectors I'd like to eliminate the "eraser" portion of my routine. It does cause the drive to run a bit warm and probably is more intensive data writing than the drive is expected to see in most cases. Any opinions, comments will be appreciated.