Thank G-d they aren't lost. I just fried the motherboard and maybe the cpu...so I need to buy a new motherboard, a new cpu and new operating system--sizable expense. (Quite irritated at how high Win7 OEM software is right now, to discourage people from buying before Win8 is released at the end of Oct!)
My impediment is my files are spread out over 4 or 5 hard drives in the computer and although they should be fine and safe...I only have one external drive case. Can't decide which hard drive to put in the external case (one with scrapbook kits or one with current photos and layouts in progress).