Failed HD, How Can I Create a Backup Image?

My old Maxtor 80GB IDE drive finally bit the dust in my old computer. It was the boot drive, and there isn't anything too important on it, but I'd like to try to create a back-up image before I format it to see if it's really dead.

From a bootable CD, is there anyway I can make a back-up image from this drive onto a USB external drive, without the back-up deleting the other stuff on my external drive?

I was investigating HDClone Free Version, which lets me back-up the 80GB IDE as an image, to the external drive, but it's not clear whether clicking "Start copying" is going to delete the other stuff already on my external.

Any help would be super!
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  1. Depending on the software, it will not erase files from your external drive. Some will, like Rebit. I am not sure about HDClone.

    You have 2 options about your hdd:

    1 - If the hdd failed due to OS corruption, then you can plug it in another computer to do backups. The software I use is Acronis. You can get a trial version for free.

    2 - If the hdd failed due to hardware problems, and you are not able to read any data even plugged in another computer, it is unlikely you will be able to create a backup since data cannot be read. You need to replace the hdd.
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