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What to do if all your computer files go poof

Washington Post: “As you toil away on your computers and other devices day after day, how many gigabytes of data are you churning out each year in the form of photos, financial records, creative endeavors and other priceless digital files? More importantly, what if the computer or external drive where all those files are stored suddenly dies? Unfortunately, mechanical drives last only about five to 10 years with normal wear and tear. Flash drives and newer solid-state drives have no moving parts, but their chips live only so long. Drives and devices also get dropped and run over. People mistakenly delete files and accidentally re-format their drive. Viruses and failed upgrades and installs corrupt data. So what do you do when your data suddenly goes poof? Don’t panic. Lost data can probably be recovered, though it can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. Here’s what to do if disaster strikes — and how to avoid it in the first place…”

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