Since both make a bit-by-bit copy of the drive, whatever is on the first drive will transfer to the second drive, provided you select the entire drive and not just the partition
I have never had a failure with Acronis 8.0, but from what I read the failure rate for v9.0 is higher...not sure why that would be, but there was not enough reason for me to upgrade so I am sticking with 8.0 The drawback for 8 or 9 is that it cannot back up to DVD.
There are also a number of freebie solutions--here is a listhttp://www.thefreeco...pandimage.shtml
Of them, I have only used Partimage, but DriveImage XML looks promising. the only drawback is that unlike Acronis, you would have to image the disk, restore to a new drive and then use another utility to enlarge the partition....Acronis does it all in one step for you. I have not used Norton Ghost since version 6 so I do not know if it does this now, but the feature is very useful when transferring an OS to a larger drive...