Hard disk drive failures, although rare, are still an unfortunate event when they do occur. Although they are somewhat preventable, most of the time it is a physical defect on the drive itself from the mechanical movement of the drive head, or by some other means. Luckily, mine error code was said to be a non-physical defect. Apparently it was something to do with the drive not being able to read and write to the operating system, not sure how that could happen, but that’s what it was.
Do you back up your data? It’s something we all put off. I’ve known about backing up data since Windows 98, but I’ve never taken it seriously until Windows 7. I cannot stress this enough: back up your data! It doesn’t matter how you do it, whether you copy files onto an external hard drive or upload them to Dropbox. It doesn’t matter if you’re running Windows or Linux (or Mac, but who cares about Mac). You never know when your hard drive will suddenly fail irrecoverably.
If you don’t think you have important documents, consider all of the music you’ve downloaded, pictures and videos that are on your computer, notes taken in class, assignments and labs that you’ve done this semester, as well as anything important on there (for instance my Skype chat history was quite important).