it's odd what you want to recover most.
I should have known - I was in denial, for sure. Even during Lotusphere, there were some unexplained events with my laptop, but denial is a very powerful force. Since Lotusphere, with increasing frequency, my laptop would misbehave. An error on boot... Access Connections disappearing from the toolbar... But I circumvented each obstacle... If I can get by it, it can't be that serious, right?
Last Thursday, when IE suddenly refused to connect but Firefox was happy, I decided it was maybe time to heed Steve's advice and do a chkdsk, which of course involves a reboot. Blithely I tried it. Reboot, chkdsk successful, but as it launched, blue screen... Tried it all again, not a fluke. Tried it again in a different T60 shell, same thing. Dead disk.
Then the panic starts.
Source trees - ok on that count, submitted my code a few hours ago. Work mail - all on the server, no problem, can always make another replica. Presentations - ouch. But if I have to write them again, I still could. Personal email - now THAT is only on the machine as I so neatly remove it from the server... That's a real problem. My history is in my email - it's a journal of conversations, and I felt its loss deeply.
I actually felt kind of disoriented. It's probably pretty unhealthy for a laptop to be so much a part of one's comfort zone.
But there is a pretty happy ending. Someone was able to put it in a drive tray, and if you don't try to boot off of it, the data is accessible. My personal email has a new home on my home machine. My presentations have been preserved. A new disk is on its way from the mothership. All's right with the world again.