|Use a Live Linux version or if it allows it, run it from the DVD and do not install it while you are saving your files/pictures, it is the best chance you have of saving all or most of your files without overwriting anything.|
Take this as a lesson to always back up anything you would be upset if you lost and use a completely separate drive or medium.
Use the hard drive utility offered online by your hard drive manufacturer (or the more universal SeaTools by SeaGate) and test your hard drive (after saving files). If the problem(s) are minor, it may be repairable, otherwise replace the drive if anything serious shows up (I just might replace the drive either way).
If the drive is good, or the program experiences any problems running, your problem might just really be a memory problem, if so, then run Memtest86 to verify this and replace as needed (you actually might want to do this first since memory problems can appear as a drive/boot problem, especially if you have had any unusual freezes or restarts lately that may have appeared randomly)
You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.