My six-week old IBM Thinkpad laptop died last week while writing an e-mail — the screen turned black then started flashing. On my end, there were no drops, no spills and no extreme temperature exposures. My advanced tech colleagues at work have tried endlessly to save my data. They even bought some weird hardware contraption to plug directly into the hard drive, to try and save any data. The tech crew was unsuccessful, so now they are shipping the laptop directly back to the manufacturer for repair or replacement.
This was a hard lesson: don’t put off backing up your data. Every couple weeks or days is not sufficient; you must back up every day. I use Microsoft Outlook for my address book and calendar, so fortunately I have all of those data backed up on my Treo through frequent synchronization. This experience has been disheveling, to say the least.