Every PC will crash, eventually. Hard drives have delicate parts that need to work in harmony with each other. Motherboards and processors are susceptible to high heat. DVD Drives get used as cupholders! What can you do to protect yourself from the stress that will happen if your PC just won't turn on after your next power surge?
- Back Up - Backing up your data is the first critical step in getting it returned in the event of a crash. I recommend using a local and remote backup at the same time. Use an external source like a Western Digital Network Drive and a remote service like Carbonite or iBackup.
- Work in the "Cloud" - Cloud computing seems to be the buzzword of the moment, even though it has existed for years. You can work with email, documents, chats, calendars and more using Google, Google Business Apps, Zoho, or AirSet.
- Got Spares? Unless you just purchased your first computer, there is a fairly good chance that you have your previous generation PC sitting around somewhere. Don't put it in a landfill! Besides having your data stolen, PCs have heavy metals that are bad for the environment. Keep your spare laptop or PC in case you need to fall back into using it due to a crash. If you have already moved your data to the new PC, run the "Restore Disks" on the old PC. When you need to use it, it'll be ready to go.
- Synchronize Online - You will be amazed at how easily it is to share your data across multiple computers using an online synchronization service like Dropbox. You can sync up to 2 Gb worth of data for free, which is probably enough for your current workload. And, Dropbox just works. It's easy and can be used on Windows, Macs, and Linux.
- Make Friends with your local Geek, the professional one, not the moonlighter or your cousin Joe who "knows a little something about computers." Everyone who depends on computers should have the number of their local tech support company handy. Get to know your Geek and let them get to know you. You'd be surprised how nice they can be when your PC is on fire.