My computer destroyed itself. Literally. I was happily working away then BOOM! Smell burning (never a good sign...) and it's gone off. Few hours later and I restart it:
'Operating System Not Found' message appears.
So, basically, until I have the will to get all these images again and remake all I had, this project is as good as dead to me...
(I know you're gonna say 'back things up' but I'm going to be honest, I wasn't expecting this to happen...)
If not, then you can salvage everything by removing it from your computer and connecting it to another computer with either a hard drive enclosure or a hard drive dock (docks are cheaper and easier to use)
**speaks from personal experience after a transformer down my block exploded taking out many electrical and electronic devices belonging to me and my neighbors--in my case an old tv and my XP computer (luckily it didn't catch fire, as I could smell burning too)
In any case, my hard drive survived, so once linked to my new Win7 comp through a hard drive enclosure, I was able to recover all the data that was stored on it.
Based on your description, it doesn't sound like you had a hard drive crash, btw.