So I bought two new hard drives and setup a clean installation of Windows on one of them. And thankfully I was able to salvage almost every single file from my dying hard drive, including latest emails and documents. Now I'm trying to see if I can recover all my program settings as well. If I can do that, then I'll actually be better off than I was yesterday because now my computer is running MUCH faster than before :)
So all's well in the chir.ag world.