Since I posted this message, I have done a fresh backup with EaseUS Todo Backup 2.5.1 Free and also did a restore using the Linux boot disc. It worked PERFECTLY!
It took about 25 minutes to backup, which is slow in my opinion (though much faster than Paragon or Seagate lately), and only 11 minutes and 13 seconds to restore. This program also lets you schedule your backups, which is exactly what I wanted. So, until I can get some accurate feedback on why Paragon and Seagate have freaked out on me, I will be using this free EaseUS Todo program.
PS Win 7 did a complete image backup with its own Backup and Restore program tonight at 4 am. This consumed all of 10 minutes from beginning to end, and created an image file 21.6 GB in size. Thus it is clear that the only image backup programs that are running truly slow are the Paragon and Seagate versions. The EaseUS Todo program took around 25 minutes, and is probably slow as well, but not 2 1/2 to 3 hours slow like the former two!
Does anyone else have an SSD with about 23 gigs on it, which they are using Todo to image? How long does it take for you?