You may have noticed that the newer, sleeker, faster PCs include many bells and whistles, but there is one notable item they don’t usually include anymore – the recovery disks. Instead of including a disk or two, they include an annoying pop-up to remind you to create the disks yourself. Recovery disks include not just the version of Windows that shipped with the computer, but all the device drivers (sound, network, video, etc) that you need to get your PC back up and running.
My advice to you: create those disks. It only takes a few minutes and between one and three DVDs, but is the single most important action you can take with a new PC. The hard drive in your PC is engineered to work about eight hours a day and last 3 – 5 years. Recent performance analysis by BackBlaze.com and ArsTechnica.com show failure rates that begin to get unacceptably high after about 3 years of use.
All of that to say, you simply can’t trust that your hard drive will be working when you need it. It is essential to set up a good back up plan and have a set of recovery disks to assist in reinstalling Windows and device drivers to a new hard drive after a crash.