At first, I used a custom hardware imager that involved opening the case and directly connecting to the HDD. Then I tried using Ghost and a bootable USB flash drive. VERY SLOW. I assumed it was the way the BIOS was handling USB, so I made a custom boot floppy using IOMEGA USB drivers. Very fast, but I need to disable the BIOS USB support and unplug a hub because they each cause the boot floppy's drivers to freeze up.
It turns out that DOS doesn't do a great job of handling I/O between IDE and a USB flash drive, and the conflicts result in a very slow transfer rate — imaging takes roughly 6x longer if I don't use the floppy method. Google, normally my friend, has endless forums where people have gotten about half as far as I have and just assumed it was the BIOS running in USB 1.1 only for some reason.
Little help? I'd love to tune the process to remove the need to unplug hardware and carry around a floppy disk.