I use Acronis True Image backup software, rather than the built in Windows 7 backup software. True Image can make a complete backup of the entire hard drive, and what I do when I backup - all partitions. It has other capabilities such as scheduling backups, "try and decide", etc. Most of the clients I support are using Acronis True Image, on my recommendation, and like it.
With Acronis, if the hard drive were to fail or just corrupt, you can restore the hard drive (or install on a new drive) in about an hour and have the system completely restored to the date of the last backup. Backup software for data backup and disaster recovery in Windows and Linux - Acronis