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Data has a great disadvantage compared to PC hardware in that it can be lost, and once lost, never easily replaced. You can get your hard disk replaced under warranty, but the new one will come to you totally empty. However, data has a great advantage that compensates for this weakness: it can be readily and easily duplicated (unlike your hard disk drive :^) )
By creating backups of important data on a timely basis, you ensure that your data, or most of it anyway, will never be truly lost; at worst, some will be lost and you will experience the inconvenience of restoring it in the event of a hard disk failure, for example. It is absolutely critical that you create backup copies of all important data, documents and programs on your hard disk, so that you have some protection in the event that catastrophe strikes.
Backups are important enough, and have enough factors related to how they work, when to do them, etc., that I have devoted an entire chapter to them.