It is quite complex to think of a perfect strategy and programs to use.
What partitions do you have on first drive?
My Setup as Example: I have
SYSTEM (unlabelled) 200MB Boot partition
C: 135GB (W7 64 Home)
D: 13GB (Recovery incl W7, drivers and bloat)
E: CD/DVD RW
F: 5GB Pagefile
G: 80GB Data and Apps
H: 500MB Logfile type maintenance partiton (seems not used)
[Pagefile does not give me any benefit as a partition above, except some image backup programs back it up if on C:. You would get a performance increase by having your Pagefile on 2nd 1TB internal drive)
My 2nd drive is external USB. I have copied SYSTEM (Boot)and Recovery since these are essential in event of disaster. The rest of my ext drive is just one partition.
I have made a clean Image file of SYSTEM, C: and Recovery which also automatically includes the boot MBR. (I also have a clean copy of my 2nd drive MBR which is mostly 'not used' but is useful to overwrite a 2nd hand HDD with corrupted or used MBR)
The MBR tells my computer to boot SYSTEM, which then boots C:
I have a set of 3 x Recovery DVDs, Windows 7 Startup Repair CD and an Image Boot CD.
All the above guarantees that system is fully recoverable back to Factory or My clean image settings, should disaster strike.
Weekly, bi-weekly or sometimes daily if I have tinkered too much, I make extra system Images of C: and G: (Data/apps)
But I only have room for two full ones and half a one. (500G external)
I have to be careful not to image my system with malware or in non-working state without realising. Multiple Images are essential since they are often corrupted anyway (regardless of which app you use)
Movies are all kept on external drive and not backed up. they take too much space and are replaceable.
Home movies, Music, photos, docs, I keep on main drive and are backed up (within the Images I made above)
Also copies of important install CD/DVDs (Office, Windows retail, recovery DVDs etc)
Bookmarks/Favourites/email/some docs, I prefer to Backup (not Image) almost daily.
I also make lots of restore points. But regularly delete old ones. always keep two. Restore points often fail.
I don't use Acronis True image but it is widely recommended and gives lots of features for it's £20+ that the free ones don't.
However the Free image ones are fine. Seagate Disc Wizard
Macrium Reflect Free
EASEUS Todo Backup
Paragon Backup and Recovery Free
For backups, not Images. Allway Sync is often recommended along with others. But I don't know them. I use Mozbackup for Firefox bookmarks and Thunderbird email.
I think that's about it. I am sure others will chip in.
Conratulations for thinking about it instead of posting 'Lost all my Photos' or 'PC won't boot'
:-) Have fun