The following programs can create a complete disk image to a USB external hard drive inside of Windows. They also allow the creation of a bootable CD or USB rescue media should the computer no longer boot. They also allow you to mount the image as a virtual drive which will let you explore the image and copy any file out of the image. If the computer does not boot because of a failed drive, install a clean drive, boot the CD or USB, attach the USB external drive, and restore the image. No partitioning or formatting is required. All programs and settings will be intact.
Macrium Reflect Free
Aomei Backupper Standard
Easeus Todo Backup Free
Aomei and Easeus allow file/folder backups both differential and incremental. Easeus being the most intuitive.