Thanks for the input, if Win Backup is "cranky" I don't want anything to do with it because the frustration will just make me crazy.
Years ago I created "Dad's files" on the 'C' drive and that is the only file that I work in. everything I do is in a subfolder to that folder but, of course, none of my program or OS files, and , evidently, not my profile and email data,etc. Win 7 wants me to save and work in Libraries but that is just confusion to me as I am highly organized and everything is exactly where I want it to be saved. I do not need Windows to think for me. (I wish I could have stayed with Win2K)
I occassionally cut and paste this entire, very large, folder to my external drive. It takes over night to complete this but then I have a complete and easily accessible copy of all my data. The next time I remember to do this I create another file with the then current date and eventually delete the older file to free up some space. Of course, that means the data, photos, genealogy files, etc are only safe up until the date of my last cut and paste backup. The other drawback is that it takes many hours to completely save such a large folder.
I think I should be using a regular back up program so I can connect my external and back up more regularly. I assume a regular program would then only overwrite any files that were recently modified and not have to save everthing resulting in a much quicker backup?
yes, it would be nice to have all my programs saved as well but that may be too much to ask of me. I do not "game" and only spend a few minutes a day on my computer unless I am researching something specific so I rarely get a virus and have only had to resort to my backup twice in ten years. But, of course, my photos and data are irreplaceable so I must plan accordingly.
I will glady look into the programs you suggest as I just want one that will work that one time when I need it to restore a compromised computer and I do not trust Win 7 Back up at the moment.