JUst for the record (& thanks to "Deadbeat" this thread) have downloaded, installed & used EaseUs partition manager and its sister clone tool. Found them indeed easy to use and the "home" versions are entirely free.
I transferred all my data from my external hard-drive to my internal. Using Easeus I then turned the nominal 500GB Hitachi external into a single partition & did a so-called government-wipe of the external. I then created three partitions which was oh so easy. One 5GB larger than my wife's internal HD which is nominally 80GB --- one at 165GB for my nominal 160GB --- and the rest a general dumping ground.
Easeus enabled me to write new (& meaningful) names to these partitions.
I then used the clone tool to make an exact copy of each internal hard-drive which even on USB2 takes several hours to copy a 160GB internal --- but the "master" clone only has to be done once. I also used Easeus to make master boot records on CDs (but not quite sure what to do with my two MBR now I have 'em?)
My purpose in posting this is three-fold --- it reveals how truly useful are these forums --- it shows even a tekky-ninny like me can manage a first-time encounter with properly designed software --- and finally there is satisfactory free stuff out there, identifying it is something else.
My next task will be to discover how to make differential backups as the months go by. Is that the correct term for cloning just the differences? Have a nice day guyz. I just have!
Obscurity is a comfortable cloak