I was so worried going to sleep last night that when I woke up this morning and tried to start my computer nothing would happen. I used Mike's computer last night to see exactly what the damage would be if my hard drive was really gone, how many weeks of photos would I lose. Five weeks was the extent of it, included in that, nearly all of the macro shots I have taken (if not all), pictures of my riding lesson Mike came to, pictures of me in my fuzzy slippers recovering from wisdom tooth extraction last week, and all the 200+ slides I had scanned for my Dad (though those could be redone). I held out hope but tried to learn to let go of those pictures.
This morning I got up, showered and booted up my laptop, I told it to start in safe mode, that seemed safest right? IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know how long it will last but it lasted long enough this morning for me too hook up the MyBook external hard drive and make a copy of all those wonderful images I thought I had lost!
Of course I am still left with a computer that doesn't really function as is, and a hard drive I don't trust right now, but I have my pictures back and I can take some time to rebuild. And remind myself to backup my pictures far more often than once a month!