Consider yourself warned-- you need to back up your data and make sure that the backup is working. I mean it. If this has never happened to you consider yourself lucky. You diligently put all of your photos onto your external hard drive because they take up too much room on your computer or on your flash card, thinking that you have a backup. Then you delete them from the computer. Now your external hard drive is the only place on the planet where your important documents or photos are saved. You guessed it-- you no longer have a backup! You only have the files in one location and if that hard drive files you are in a very difficult position. In many cases we are able to help you and to recover some or all of your documents but, unfortunately, there are cases when the drive is too damaged and nothing can be done to retrieve them. At Alaska Computer Guy we will never charge you if we are unable to retrieve your documents, but that will be little consolation if you find out that you have just lost your entire life worth of photos.
In addition to keeping the original on your computer and storing a copy of the file on an external device, I recommend that you purchase a personal subscription to Carbonite through My Portal. For about $60 per year, you can have the peace of mind that your files are automatically being backed up to the cloak and in the event of a theft, device failure, or natural disaster your documents will be safe and accessible for you to recover.