When was the last time you backed up your computer?
Don't run the risk of loosing your files, data, or photos. I had this happen on my wife's laptop, and the hard drive was making strange noises. Before I knew it, I reacted too late to recover. I took the laptop to a local repair shop, and the tech told me that it would cost $1,000 to recover the data. Why so much, the shop told me that the hard drive would be placed in an off site clean room facility.
So, I learn by doing. All my computers have a Iomega backup hard drive, with Norton recovery tools available. Just set everything to automatic, and then rest easy. I would recommend in making this a habit, for peace of mind sake.