Here's an unpleasant fact of life: Your computer's hard drive will eventually fail, taking all your precious digital photos, meticulously ripped music and movies, crucial banking records, email archive, and every other bit of your digital life with it. Looking at the bright side, recovering from such a disaster can be a breeze-provided you have a back-up strategy. We'll explore several back-up alternatives, but before we dive into that discussion, we'll show you a couple of easy ways to monitor your hard drive's health so a drive failure won't catch you by surprise. That way, you can move the drive's contents to another drive before it goes belly up. PC hard drives have this monitoring capability built in-it's called S.M.A.R.T. (Self-monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology)-you just need software that can access the information and present it to you in a meaningful way.