You may blow off this advice, but anyone who's been a victim of a computer failure should heed my advice..
BACK IT UP!
If you bought a computer with a preinstalled OEM (original equipment manufacturer) software, they urge you to create a reinstall backup disk. That is not what I recommend. That will only take you back to the day you bought your computer. It will no re-create everything you worked on since. That includes both your files and settings.
As someone who's been there (several times) I can tell you how miserable restoration can be. I've spent up to 40 hours getting my stuff all back.
Here's What I recommend instead.
I've bought a second 931GB internal hard drive for around eighty buck$. I also bought a Maxtor external hard drive and yet one more Seagate 465GB external hard drive,
I also bought a Win7 installation disk. Unlike a manufacturer's OEM the complete Win7 installation disk allows for things not possible by the OEM's.
Once a month I use the second internal hard drive to make an "image" of my entire C drive. This feature is available in Windows 7. It allows you to make an exact replication of everything you have. In the event your computer crashes, it's just a matter of a few steps and your back in business.
In between I have a 3x's weekly backups to that Maxtor USB connected external drive. I use FREE software to back up to the Maxtor.
Once a month I use that same software to back up many more files to the external Seagate 465 GB drive.
In addition I use a FREE version of Winzip to compress my most important files with password protection. I attach them in eMail to myself. And save them in my Hotmail account. This would be just in case someone would swipe all my equipment, I still have a means online to recover my stuff.
Fortunately for me I saved copies of the older versions when they were still available for free. NOW THEY CHARGE for them and don't do FREE anymore.
WHAT THE... !
Now you don't have to do everything I do, but here's a basic recommendation.
(1) Upgrade your operating system via a actual installation disk to WIN7
(2) Purchase a internal HDD
(3) Use Win7 to make an ISO "image" copy of your C: drive
Do Step 1
Get a large external hard drive to record a Win7 image.
It's quite simple!
PS: I also used Symantec's Norton Virus software which encrypts and stores all my passwords so I never have to remember my logins. Just click on the site and Norton fills it all in. It too is also password protected.