It should be common sense to back up whenever you are sending your laptop off to be fixed, even for something small. According to Consumerist, one unlucky reader learned the hard way.
While there is no official HP policy on erasing the hard drive for minor hardware defects, its something that might want to be kept in mind when you send your laptop in. One of Consumerist's readers, Marjan, decided to send his computer in for repair when one of the keys egregiously decided to pop off. The laptop came back with a spanking new "P" but all of Marjan's data had been wiped clean.
At least back up when you are sending your computer in for repair—wouldn't you need that information anyways if you were being torn away from your precious? Look, I know we're all pretty lazy—this is America, after all—but springing for that extra hour to back up your hard drive may just be worth it. [Consumerist]