PamG, that's INCREDIBLE!!
I read your post with a mounting feeling of the supernatural. I can't believe how similar we are!
My setup differs from yours in details, but all of the following are things I have already done myself:
* NOT using C:\Program Files - YES! I hate it when all my apps are mixed up with the huge mysterious edifice of the Windows O/S.
* NOT using "My Documents" (which I think should be called "Your Documents" anyway - I actually renamed "My Computer" to "This Computer". I think Microsoft's version of grammar is deplorable).
* Using an entire drive for data, to simplify backups
* Using an entire drive for the VM swap area (I have mine on a secondary hard drive whose only other role is for backups, on the assumption that the VM will function more efficiently if it is using an otherwise idle device)
* Only defragging the data, not the static stuff like apps.
* Scanning receipts - and also official forms before I send them in.
* Keeping app settings in the data area so they are backed up - but I still have one or two that I couldn't tweak, so I have to back up some of the System or App drives - a real pain. App developers take note - make EVERYTHING configurable please!
Things that made me think again:
* Acrobat's indexing - what a fantastic idea that is for indexing everything. I'll look into it - thanks!
* ZIPped backups - I tried this before and gave up on it because there was a 2Gb limit (I have large files sometimes that need backing up, as I collect raw audio from old tapes etc.). I might reconsider it - I'll be checking out HandyBackup right away.
I'll also take a look at those little apps you mentioned, they sound useful.
Every time I get a new PC I start fresh and come up with some new wonderful system that's going to work this time. I only read GTD a month ago, so now I have a chance to find the single scheme that works. You've given me some good ideas. Thank you!