Yesterday I had lunch with a friend who had a sad technology tale. Her laptop died. She hadn’t backed up her files in a long time (years). Everything was lost. She learned some things in the process of trying to breathe some life into her computer and was OK with me sharing what she learned.
Second, if your computer has been wonky – and then you hear clicks when you turn it on – you’re in trouble. It’s time to close it up and take it to the experts. The least you’ve done to fix it yourself the better their chances of recovery. (One of their last ditch efforts is to actually freeze your computer in the hopes of contracting files and improve odds of getting in to recover files.)
Third, some of the more difficult files to recover are email files. For many of us I think we’d miss them more than anything. When you backup your files remember to export the email files too. (These articles can help:
http://www.sitedeveloper.ws/tutorials/outlook.htm – for Outlook & Outlook Express