The first three rules of computer operation are
1. Back it up
2. Back it up
3. Back it up
As a professional who makes her living using a computer (geekette), I understand those rules very well. Instead of using CDs, I have two 100 gigabyte Maxtor hard drives. One holds nothing but music (about 50 GBs). The other holds my programs, favorites, calendar, address book, spoken word recordings, etc.--also about 50 GBs. When I backed up my files a month ago, I was using my older computer running Windows XP. My new laptop runs Windows Vista, the latest pain inflicted on anyone purchasing a new computer with the operating system concocted by the spawn of Satan in Redmond, WA. OK: all you Mac users can now gloat. I'm sharing my tale of woe as a warning to any of you who are planning to upgrade your computer.
Some of your favorite hardware may not run on Vista because the drivers have not been updated yet. I have a wi-fi booster antenna that will not have the Vista driver until May, which means I'll have to limp along with my low signal strength until the chip manufacturer releases the new driver.
The biggest problem I had was with the back-up drives. I put password protection on them and when I plugged them into the new laptop, Vista refused to recognize them. I tried to load the software so I could remove the password protection (after spending an hour on the Internet and phone with the manufacturer to find out what to do), and Vista wouldn't open it. I had to take the drives to my friend 11 miles away who plugged them into his 10 year-old computer running XP, loaded the software, removed the password protection, deleted the software, and plugged them into his new laptop running Vista to see if they would work. They did. I picked them up, brought them home and finally loaded all my files.
So all you geekettes and geeks out there, please back up your files. If you're planning to purchase a new computer, investigate whether your current programs, hardware and software will work with Vista. You'll avoid losing something important and DTT (Data Transfer Trauma).
Oh. When I plugged in my printer and turned it on, Vista not only recognized it before I had to Add a Printer, it named it and made it the default. I'm grateful for small favors.