If you have a method of backing up file external to your computer then you might burn yourself a Knoppix
CD. This is a Live Linux distribution. You load it by sticking it in your CD ROM drive then reboot. Upon booting, if your BIOS is set to boot from a CD first then you'll be able to load it. This distro of Linux loads into your RAM and allows you to look at stuff on your computer without really modifying it (you can modify some stuff sometimes, it just depends on what it is really). So that way, if you have an FTP server or another external USB drive or so, then you can find the files on the hard drive and copy them to another location. You might also check to make sure that the power and data cables aren't loose inside your box. I hope that helps. If you have any questions about Knoppix, then feel free to ask me.