Back up system to external hdd?

I have my system set up perrrrfect! Now is about the time that I usually screw it up ! I was looking into buying an external hdd that I could use just for storing a copy of my primary drive w/OS and program files. Does this sound reasonable? What software would be needed? I am just trying to eliminate the need and time involved in reinstalling all software/ programs, drivers if I mess up the current configuration and cannot restore it. I am hoping I could just make a copy of the drive and then transfer the whole thing to a clean formatted drive or a new drive if something bad happens to this one. I am using Windows 2000.

Why external when internal HDs are so cheap? I mean there’s really no difference between an external and internal except the extra shell which cost a bundle. They’ll both die if you drop 'em off the 2nd floor…

Anyway, I would get a 2nd internal HD, hook it up and set it as D:, get Ghost 7, boot into DOS, and do a disk to disk (cloning). Once the process is finished, take the 2nd HD out, put it in one of them anti-static bags and put it in save storage. I think I mentioned the how to before this before, now where’s that thread… Found it.