Live and learn, my friends: if you don't make regular backups, you're asking for trouble.
"Hello, may I have some trouble, please?"
"Why, certainly. Please wait a moment while I destroy your family photos, financial records, and other irreplaceable data."
"Oh, if only I hadn't asked for that."
I know backups are a pain, but all you need is one of the dirt-cheap external hard drives I regularly post here and the right software.
Let's talk about the latter. Today only, Giveaway of the Day has Paragon Backup and Recovery 10 Home Special Edition absolutely free. It normally sells for $29.95.
What's the catch? There really isn't one, except that you must download and install the program today (making sure to follow the instructions in the accompanying readme.txt file).
Compatible with Windows 7 (and earlier versions), PBR 10 Home can back up selected files and folders or create an image of your entire hard drive. It includes a wizard to walk you through the setup process and support for FTP backups and restores, scheduled file-level backups, and selective restore (meaning you can choose individual files/folders instead of having to restore the entire image).
What makes this a "Special Edition"? The only difference I can find is that it lacks the paid version's WinPE capabilities, which most users probably won't miss. That, and you don't get tech support from Paragon.
If you miss out on this offer, check out my recent roundup of three Windows backup tools that don't cost a dime.
Bonus deal: Dell has the Nintendo DSi (white) bundled with Brain Age for $129.99 shipped. I'm seeing it elsewhere for at least $20 more, not including the game.