I've been using the built in image tools for a while now. I've successfully backed up and restored with the Windows 7 tool many times (although there is a bug that requires switching to IDE in your BIOS before doing a restore unless you want it to take days).
I recently upgraded to Win 8. After I had my core programs installed, I did make an image (although it took me a few minutes to find the option since it's now buried in a weird place in the control panel). I didn't have any problems, although my OS drive (SSD) is much smaller than OP's.
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