I have been noticing a scary trend over the last few years. Home computers have gone from a techno-toy (like a DVD player) to an important part of everyone’s life. I have also noticed that computers are becoming 5 year assets. People are replacing them every 5 years. Today they are inexpensive enough to do that. But the trend I am seeing is that the old PC is not being replaced, but a notebook is being added to the home computer. So I have a lot of family and friends with 4 to 5 year old desktop PCs, and hard drives are beginning to fail. Since most PCs came in as toys, disaster recovery is typically not considered by the home user. Does the thought of loosing all you digital pictures, your password database that you are allowing your web browser of choice manage for you, or any document you have created scare you? It should. A couple of people have asked me my strategy so here it is. I use a three pronged approach. I have a wireless network in my house. Every night at 2:00 am (wow, now that I think of that it is a really bad time to choose now that Indiana is on daylight saving time) *Note to self reschedule backups*. I copy my documents folder to another PC that is on different power circuit in a different part of the house. I also copy that data to a USB connected disk. Please note, this is not a backup plan. I cannot step back in time and get an old version of a changed file. But in most cases I don’t need that. Then once a month, I burn what I feel is most important (pictures, keepass password database, e-mail archive) to DVD and store it off-site. I point all my applications to store their data in that location. I am not saying this is the best strategy, but I would like you to at least think about your strategy. The day after a hard drive crash is not the time to consider this. Just remember, that e-mail and web surfing appliance is becoming a critical part of your life. Protect it.