I tried the Windows Complete PC Backup again from work today, and it worked fine! The only difference is that I used DVDs from work instead of the ones I have at home. So, it’s looking like this was just a media issue. Weird. The DVDs I’m using at home are name-brand DVD-Rs that are supposed to be fine up to 16x. (The burner in my laptop is 8x.) The DVDs in work are no-name DVDs, and I’m not even sure if they’re DVD-R or DVD+R. Well, either way, I now have a complete hard drive backup (hopefully).
Meanwhile, I just installed LoJack for Laptops, which was included as part of the service bundle I got from Dell. I have no idea if I’ll ever need it, nor do I know if it’ll do any good if the laptop *is* stolen. Seems like an interesting idea, though.
And I signed up for some stuff at LearnDell.com that was also included with my service bundle. I don’t know yet if Dell’s online training is any good, but maybe I’ll try to work my way through some of it and find out if it’s worth it.