I am convinced that there is a purpose to a PC crash, other than making you feel physically sick. Firstly it reminds you why all the image files are not stored on the PC (lessons learnt in the past prevented that) and secondly it allows you to find all the application software discs and licence numbers that were stored safe somewhere about 4 years ago and cant now be found for love nor money. In addition you learn so much all over again. How to reload plugins into PS. How to download and store the icc profiles for the various papers and how to recalibrate the monitor. All this in addition to the fact that you can rewire all the peripherals (card reader, tablet etc), remembering why some work better than others in certain USB ports and why the 2TB drive has to use Firewire or it behaves badly.
So, after a reinstall of Windows XP Pro and 3 days of getting back to square one there is still a nagging feeling that the external HD (Image Central) needs backing up too. I had considered another similar device, perhaps with an IP address so it could be accessed from anywhere, but there is an alternative, and its online. I am still researching who I will use, but these guys are offering a web based storage system that in itself is backed up to a second physical location. In theory my images will never be lost or feel threatened ever again.