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The phrase: “You don’t know what you got til it’s gone.” has never been more true when it comes to computers dying. I have learned the hard way on multiple occasions on the importance of backing up the files on your computer. Don’t procrastinate on this as your hard drive could literally crash at any moment (kinda similar to appreciating life because you could literally die at any moment…).
There are a few ways you can do this. My personal favorite is to use a site called sugarsync. It stores all your files online. If you sign up through the link, you and I will both get some free storage. The best part of this site is that you can get free storage simply by referring people. I have 50 gigs of free storage simply from referrals.
Another way to keep things backed up is to use a portable backup hard drive. It’s simply a hard drive that is enclosed in a special case. Unless you have a crap-ton of music, movies, porn, etc. you probably can go with a smaller one at 250 gb or so. These will run you around $50 at the time of this writing.
Finally, you can go really cheap by just burning files to cds or even using flash drives if you don’t have that much to backup.
I can’t stress how important it is to do this. I have a lot of pictures that I would hate to lose and I’m sure you have various files, old tax returns, pics, music, that book report you wrote in high school, etc. that you would not want to lose.
Take action now: Right now, use one of the following methods to back up some of your most important files. Even if you only have a flash drive or some blank cds lying around, pop them in, and back up just the most important stuff. You truly can’t appreciate having a backup until you lose it all. I’m sure the feeling is pretty similar to having a hardcore character die on Diablo 2 or losing your first-born child. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
Ok, so there is a way to possibly recover your stuff for free that is pretty effective if you’re a lazy ass and didn’t follow my advice. It’s an open source program called test disk and can be found here. While it is pretty effective and I have used it once to restore some of my old files, I still recommend you don’t risk losing it all. It sucks!