Your recovery is only as good as your last back up!
If you haven't thought about it maybe this would be a good time to do a
back up of your data, store it in a safe place.
You may want to invest in a
backup system that would not be effected by local disasters such as a tornado, lighting strikes, floods, and other natural disasters that effect us all.
One way to do so would be a commercial backup system such as Mozy or Carbonite. These can be costly,
and if you have a lot of data uploading/downloading could be slow depending on your ISP connect speed.
What I use is a server but not everyone wants or can afford the time and cost of a server. A way around this is to use an older computer for a NAS (Network Attached Storage) see my
Self Computer Repair Unleashed! 2nd Edition E-Book. e-book for the how to make one.
With a NAS you could backup all your data to a remote location say in another city or state that is far enough away to not be effected by a local disaster say at you parents house or a relative where you know it will be safe.
Using an older computer (a desktop or laptop) with the original Operating System installed and setup for network connectivity you would have the same thing that the commercial
backup sites have with these exceptions:
Note: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8 or 10 Operating Systems allow for the maximum of 10 consecutive connections
Redundancy - You would need to build in redundancy with the hard drives mainly by using RAID 1 (mirror)
Encryption - You would need to purchase a program that would encrypt your data at the source computer before sending it to the target computer (the NAS). (Encryption insures security while the data is moving across the internet and while being stored on the NAS).
By using your own hardware and a location of a relative you cut your over all costs enormously, less than a penny per gig of data stored.
If you don't do a NAS and depend on local media to back up your data then I suggest you make an image of the OS partition, see my
Self Computer Repair Unleashed! 2nd Edition E-Book. e-book for the how to accomplish a back up.
I will also suggest you backup your data on at least two separate devices either another computer or external hard drive or SSD, and a Pen/Flash drive or DVD's (this would work if you don't have a lot of data say under 20 gig - that would be five DVD's).
If you are using an external hard drive/SSD, pen drives, or DVD's you should store them in a bank safe deposit box. Normally banks will survive a natural disaster, haven't heard of any being destroyed lately.
A DVD or will survive water, a hard drive, SSD, or pen drive would have to be in a sealed container to do so.
A DVD will survive a lightning strike if it is not direct, where as a pen, SSD, or hard drive will not due to ESD (Electromagnetic Static Discharge).
A pen drive or a SSD will survive a tornado where as the hard drive and DVD may not due to impact.
If you use two of the above media to back up you data one will survive.
If you have online banking or other financial data on your computer and personal documents along with your images you will not want to lose them and backing up this data is one way to keep it safe from a natural disaster.
So, have you backed up your data today? No??? [me: smacking head]
A WWII Fighter Pilots Motto: "Do it NOW! You may not have time to do it later!"