Vista 64 bit - Non-techie needs External Hard Drive help

OK, I am so completely feed up with Vista and have been wanting to
upgrade to Windows 7, but now my external hard drive has completely
failed and was never working correctly with Vista anyway, because of the
64 bit issues so now I need to spend the money on a new external hard
drive instead of upgrading to 7.

So here's my issue: I understand now that the 64 bit issue was a
software/driver issue and not a hardware issue. I was using a Maxtor
OneTouch 4 Plus with an XP machine. The Xp machine died and I got a
Vista machine (right before the free upgrade to 7 started. Dang it!).
The external drive never quite worked right and when I finally got
around to understanding that it was a software issue etc. this week the
drive has completely died and is useless to me. So what I need to know
now is how to proceed. And -I need step-by-step examples-. I am not a
computer techie person, so when I read the forum and it says to buy a
SATA drive and then get an enclosure to cover it and format this and
blah, blah, blah. I'm not completely sure what you are all talking
about!! But I am sure I can do it if I get some more detailed
instructions, because I catch on pretty fast.

What I want is an external drive to back up my small business laptop: HP
Pavilion dv3 AMD Turion X2 Ultra Dual-core 2.4 GHz w/ 4 GB RAM and 500
GB of storage running Vista Ultimate (64 bit) SP2. It does have am eSATA
port if that helps. I have used Seagate in the past, because it was all
automatic and easy (until Vista 64 bit) so I would prefer to stay away
from Seagate/Maxtor. They are on my sh** list now.

I would like an external drive and software recommendations for backing
everything up automatically. Can I get a few recommendations? What
software are you using? I hear there's some great freeware also built-in
MS options, but I need some help on where to start and the order of
doing it all ... I would like at least 500 GB, but since I am getting
this new it would be better to probably get 1 TB now so I don't out grow
it. And if I can walk in and buy it at Best Buy or somewhere that would
be awesome. I would like to have my stuff backed up ASAP.



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