i've read the blurbs for Partition Magic and Roxio/Symantec GoBack,
but still can't tell if they'll do what i want.
(yes, i could ask the respective vendors,
but i'd like the opinion of disinterested parties.)
i'm running w2k-pro on a corporate win-server network --
in a company where it's not unusual for your desktop system
to be down or crippled for days because of
some software change which was forcibly "pushed" to
your machine remotely by the Network/PC Support department.

i want to:
(a) re-partition my 256gig IDE HD -- in-place -- into 2 equal parts;
(b) be able to use the second partition as a bootable hot-backup,
on which i manually control which changes on the "normal"
boot-part get replicated to the backup;
(c) be able to boot and run from the second part,
with ALL code thinking that the booted partition
is addressed as "c:\" -- including the Support department's
network logon scripts which run at boot-time.
(d) still be able to access both partitions,
no matter which one i've booted from.

opening the PC's case isn't an option.

the drive currently has only one partition, a full-drive primary,
i.e. with no "extended"/"logical" partitions.

i'm not concerned about my non-system win .lnk files
being made "stale".

if you can provide a scenario for accomplishing this,
then i'd also like to ask how your scenario would change
if were using two separate IDE drives.