System Restore Is Not a Backup Plan!
I'm in the process of filtering through all the results of the free software survey I conducted as part of my HP HDX Dragon Giveaway. The most disturbing results I've found so far - 8% of respondents don't back up their data! At least some of them were honest enough to fill in the blank with something like 'I should probably do this.' At least they're all aware they have no backup plan. The 1% of respondents who consider the Windows System Restore feature their backup plan are even more worrisome, because they think they have a backup plan. System Restore only helps you recover operating system components and return the Windows Registry to a previous state. If your drive crashes, your data goes down with the ship! There's a reason Microsoft includes a separate backup utility in the Accessories > System Utilities folder; you need it. I like online solutions like Roxio BackOnTrack Online (not free) or the free 1GB storage at Club Backup better than installed software, but there are plenty of free solution that will get you backed up in addition to using System Restore. Early analysis of the survey data show that SnapBackup and the freeware version of SyncBack will come in near the top of the list.