It’s that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. The sweat and panic you experience when your computer, that’s worked so reliably for so long, suddenly won’t boot.
If you’re lucky, it’s a configuration error – maybe brought about by some new software you installed. Or maybe a virus, but one that’s not totally destructive.
If you’re unlucky, it’s hard drive crash. And the cost to recover your data can exceed $1000 (assuming it’s recoverable at all).
Backing up your critical data: files you need, irreplaceable family photos and videos – costs pennies. The CD or DVD burner you probably already have will do the trick. An external USB hard drive will also work. There are even online backup solutions (though those are less than ideal for large amounts of data such as video and music). But none of them will help you if you don’t use them.
Remember – hard drives are disposable items! They do not last forever. In fact, any hard drive more than 5 years old is living on borrowed time.
I’ll be writing more about backup solutions later. But for now, take 5 minutes and burn a DVD with the data you can’t afford to lose. Get in the habit of doing that at least once a week. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but if you do – making that backup will be the greatest investment you ever made.
Learn more: Why do hard drives crash?