I am making this thread so I can link to it in the tips and tricks thread. This I think is a much needed topic, there are lots of questions surrounding backups and moreover people have lots of headaches when they neglect to backup their phones then they have some issues that forces them to do a hard reset. If you don't have your old phone with contacts, and your contacts aren't backed up on your SD Card, computer, or synced to google when you perform a hard reset your are SOL. This mostly happens to people that go to verizon with their xyz phone and upgrade to Eris, the store hooks it up to the transfer box and transfers your contacts, then you get home, don't sync, install apps, have problems, get forced to do a hard reset, then you no longer have those 1000 contacts you had before. Don't be "that guy" backing up is fast and easy. Things that are critical: Contacts YOUR Media like pics you took, etc. Not so critical: Apps Calendar Stuff Other Media When you get the phone you should first login to gmail app. This links your phone up with your GOOGLE account.....not just gmail.....you need to do this anyway to use the phone...so do it. The "Google" Way (backup contacts, calendar, and gmail) Once you are linked up go to your Google Contacts page on your computer. If there is nothing there, you have no backup yet. On your phone go to Settings>Data Sync>Google> Here you have the option to Sync 3 things, and how they are synched. Gmail, Calendar, Contacts. It is up to you how you do this, manually, or automatic. I choose manually cause am a control freak and in my mind it uses less battery then synching all the time. If you choose automatic you should see the 3 items jump and start synching, if you choose manually tap each of the 3 and they should sync. Once that is done revisit your google contacts page on your PC to make sure you got them all. If you did you will see them online and you no longer worry about losing them. If they aren't there then unfortunately the contacts were not added as "google" contacts but rather "phone" contacts (you can see this in the main list in the "people" app). Advice here to remedy that. Calendar and Gmail should be easily synched and you can check that in each app on the phone. The Other Way (backup pretty much everything) I am going to write this out assuming you are using mybackup pro. I don't work for them, I have used the app, it is nice, and it IS $4.99. But that is a small price to pay (IMO) for the peace of mind you get. From the app description: Backup (schedule option) to our online secure server, or SD card, your apps, contacts, call logs, bookmarks, sms/mms, calendar, settings, home shortcuts, alarms, dictionary, music playlists and more. Restore on existing/new phone. I am SURE there are free options, I AM SURE in the comments below people will suggest xyz backup app, so check that out if you are so inclined. The app should be pretty self explanatory, once you backup to SDcard COPY the contents of the card to a nice little folder on your PC and label it in a way you will recognize. Some people have reported SD Card being wiped while in the phone so don't just leave your backup on the card. Other Stuff All your apps that you have on your phone should be remembered by your google acct. So if you do a reset they should be waiting to be downloaded and installed in your market app once you get back into your phone. Remember, BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP! then BACKUP! again! The first time you get a nasty app that forces you to do a factory reset and lose your contacts or something else you will be kicking yourself. PLEASE, if anyone has any edits, comments, shortcuts to this process, post here and I can add/edit this post.