Acronis True Image Home has been a godsend for me for years.
I was messing around with changing drive letters yesterday and screwed up my boot drive so i re-installed 7 on that partition and simply installed Acronis first thing and restored from an image I saved from my original setup.
I keep two updated images ....on seperate hdd's in case of failure. With all my programs and all it shows as 22 Gbs in properties, which Acronis compresses to 8.5 Gbs.
Best software I have ever used.
Oh yeah...Acronis lets you make a boot disc which brings up the Acronis so you can make your image without having to enter Windows. I have found this to be the best way to go, as Acronis requires a re-boot of course if you want to back up your image to the operating system partition you are using. Most of the time when you use the reboot method or the disc, you have to control/alt/delete and let it reboot again just to get things rolling. You'll see what I mean if you go this route.