Even if you're pretty well prepared. Full panic mode here Friday evening - the sudden freeze and ominous clicking sound from inside the box. This after spending all day Friday on getting book keeping up to date. Spent most of yesterday looking for a new internal hard drive - they are getting harder to find. Seems computer repair shops are a dying thing around here, and most stores that sell computers don't carry them any more. And lots of places closed on weekends. Anyway, found it was my d: drive that crashed (thank god not c: ) which I used mainly for copying things to and backing up things like pictures. I cloned my c: (it was getting to be a bit old) to a new bigger drive, and have been scrounging all the stuff I had backed up to d: from other scattered places back to c:. I did have an older clone of my c: stashed away on the shelf that would have got me up & going quick, but with a fair amount of data loss. So, after having gone through this more than once & in more than one way, this is my plan that has been tweaked over the years: -Get a USB hard drive dock. -Get Acronis True Image. -Get at least two extra hard drives. -Use the above to semi-regularly (every couple of months?) clone your c: drive alternating between the spare drives. If your c: drive should ever die, you just pop it out & pop a clone in. Do a fresh clone before & after a new program install. Quick & easy with the dock & Acronis. -Install a second internal drive, or use an external, to drag & drop data files to more frequently than that, keeping all your data files in one data directory to make that a simple one-step drag & drop (every week?). Throw in a USB flash drive too for even more redundancy. -Whatever computer you're using now, and if you like it - get a second one identical to it. If you're buying a new computer, get two of the same one. That way you'll be covered if something like your mother board goes south, or even if that happens and takes out your drive at the same time - or if it all gets taken out by a bad power supply. Been there, done that. Ugly no matter how much you've backed up. Desktops are getting to be pretty cheap. I now have two HP/Compaq dc7600 SFF's. They might be getting a bit dated, but they are solid business type machines that are very easy to service and there are a ton of them out there. I'm looking for another now. If you cover one side of things by cloning regularly, you likely won't be able to pop that cloned c: in a computer of a different type and have it run due to conflicts with different hardware & bios stuff etc. - but at least your data will be mostly intact. It is a real PITA having to re-install all your programs, and getting them all updated, on & on. That's pretty well common knowledge but someday, it'll bite anyway.