I've been doing some reading on cloning and imagine software for HDDs, one being more for backup purposes, and one for swapping out an old HDD for a new one, but this leaves me with a few questions. Being somewhat paranoid about the data, I'm trying to go about the best method of completely backing up my data without having to go through the hassle of reinstalling and reactivating my Windows machine. Does one absolutely have to have more than one HDD inside the tower to be done, or can it be done via USB 3 or an eSata connection with an external drive? I do have two HDDs in my computers, one is for the OS and all my data, the other is just data that I copied over the months, but I didn't actually clone or image. I guess the real question is, should I image, should I clone? External HDD via USB or eSata/HDD enclosure? I want to have peace of mind knowing all the vital data is safe and not have to go through a tedious process of recovering it. I only ask here because it's both software and hardware related; hardware because it involves my HDDs, but software because I need a good program to do all this; if this is the wrong section, I do apologize. I don't even know what's the best way to go about using eSata.