Has your hard drive started clicking? Try listening for a very high pitched squealing coming out of your computer.
A failing hard drive may trigger a disk check too. These are all early warning signs that you should BACK UP YOUR FILES IMMEDIATELY. Hard drives don’t always give you a warning and may just die on the spot, so even if you don’t have problems, it’s still good practice to make sure you have a back up periodically.
Backups can be accomplished with an online backup service. These services run in the background and send copies of your files out to a server on the internet (in the Cloud). If your computer ever fails, the software can be easily reinstalled to retrieve your files that were previously copied to the service.
Other methods can be as simple as periodically burning a CD of your important data, copying to a flash drive, copying to an external drive, or scheduling a backup to an external hard drive to run automatically. Whichever choice you use, we suggest more than one for added safety. For example if you have an external drive running backups regularly, also occasionally copy your important files onto a flash drive. It never hurts to have an extra copy or two available to increase your chances of a successful recovery.