Over on Flickr, saraeigen writes:
diagnosis is in: material on the hard drive is irretrievable. parts of a manuscript gone. all course preparation done during the last month, gone. ALL PHOTOS GONE.
Hard drives are the devices inside your computer where your data (like digital photos) are stored. Modern hard drives are made of multiple platters spinning at 7200 RPM. Imagine several round platters stacked on top of each other, spinning incredibly fast, with little spindles reading and writing data from each platter. It’s incredible technology despite the fact that they’ve become so commonplace. And they are fairly reliable. Hard drive manufacturers are offering 5-year warranties on their newest devices.
But hard drives do fail. And if they fail badly, your data can disappear without a trace. Ask yourself, “How would I feel if all of my photos were erased and I could never see them again?” The only defense is to prepare for the worst and create a backup copy of your photos (and other important files). It’s not that difficult to do and you’ll feel much better when you’re done.