When your hard drive decides to commit suicide, make sure you have backups to survive the ensuing chaos.
Yesterday, another attorney’s hard drive fried itself. He had a backup through Mac OS X Time Machine, and also used some form of cloud storage, but neither backup could give him the last full image backup. Understandably, he went back and forth before ultimately restoring the last captured full hard drive image from Time Machine.
If you are worried about the same scenario, consider cloud storage. A program like Dropbox stores everything on the cloud and on your hard drive. Dropbox updates continuously as long as you have an active internet connection. If your computer crashes, you can restore everything. If the cloud in the sky evaporates, you still have everything on your actual hard drive. Either way, if one source crashes, you still have instant access to everything.
If you do not have a large documents file, consider buying an external hard drive or even a thumb drive. Keep it plugged in all the time, and set it up to backup every ten minutes, or every hour.
You might even consider doing both. When your practice is tied to your computer, you can never be too careful.