I'll never be tired of telling people, "Partition your hard disk!"
Let's face it, most of us don't back up our data. Even I don't and I'm more computer-savvy than most.
Yet, should my computer crash - which happens more often than I'd like - my data is always safe. That's because I CREATE my data on partitions other than the C Drive.
I never use the default Windows folders to save my files. My Hard Disk has been partitioned into four different drives, C through F. The C Drive is for software. The D Drive is for my text data and images. E is for stuff I download from the Internet and F is for my music files.
I never use the default folders to save all this data. I always navigate to the folder I want to use - which is never on the C Drive - and save the file there.
The advantage is that, should the Operating System fail, all I have to do is reinstall it and the other software and I still have access to my data.
Once you get used to saving data in the folder you want and not the default folder, everything becomes easy. And, while I'd never tell you not to back up your data, it'll still be safer than if you'd saved everything on the C Drive.