James O’Neill summarized the different ways to backup Vista: imageX, CompletePC Backup, Vista Restore Points, Vista Backup, and Folder Redirection.
I wonder why he calls the last option “folder redirection”. I only know this feature under the terms “shadow copies” and “previous versions“. Vista creates a restore point (a snapshot) of the hard disk once a day. You can access previous versions of a file thru the file properties.
I also played with CompletePC Backup (“Backup up computer” in the Backup and Restore Center), sometime ago. This is probably the first backup software delivered with Windows that I will really use. It can create a complete image for your PC and copy it to a DVD or any other backup device. This is pretty cool. It is just a pity that it doesn’t seem possible with the consumer version, as he writes. This could have saved me a lot of time whenever friends call me because of their crashed PCs.
By the way James O’Neill has some other nice Vista tips in his blog.