The files on your hard drive are rarely lost because of this. But some don't want to pull the hard drive into some USB External Case (about 20 bucks) and copy their stuff out. For those you take it to the shop that does the work for you.
If the motherboard has failed as they often do, the repair cost is often more than a new machine (and that USB external case.)
Okay, so I'm an idiot. I was getting ready for bed last night, watching a movie on my laptop, poured myself a glass of water for bed, and then slipped on some dog slobber on the floor, causing me to spill water on my laptop. Being that I had already turned the lights out, and spilled the dog's water dish as well, I didn't think much water got in my laptop. Being an idiot, I wiped off what I could from it, and figured I'd be fine. Like I said, I'm an idiot. So about five minutes later, who whole thing just plain turned off. (I should also note that I went ahead and plugged it in, which I now know is not very smart.) so I freaked out, flipped it open and upside down propped up with some towels and had nightmares of my computer dying. When I woke up, I tried to turn it back on to no avail. I resolved myself to the fact that I had shorted it out and weeped a little when I thought of taking it to the computer store to see if there was any hope at all. I read a few places online that I should take out the battery and let it dry out in a warm room for awhile so that's what I did this morning. It was around 10:30 that I put it in direct sunlight upstairs. It's now almost 4 and I went to take it to the computer store. Just for fun I decided to go ahead and put the battery back on and see what would happen. It turned back on! And then the keyboard did some strange things when I went to enter my password, but all seemed fine. Then I realized that several keys do not work, most of which are vowels, and a few keys just go nuts and start endless lines of "-----". Once again paranoid that I was causing further damage, I went ahead and took the battery off and locked it in the sunny room. My question now is what should I do? Leave it in there for awhile longer to completely dry out? Or am I screwed into having to buy a new keyboard? It seemed to fix itself as far as the whole turning itself on thing, so will it fix itself as far as the keyboard glitches? I'm glad that my laptop isn't doomed forever, but I am afraid that it will be if I try to turn it on again too soon. I don't understand the exact goings on of computers and what exactly water will do to them. (if it matters, it was filtered water.) Someone please help me, my whole life is on that thing. Also, I guess I should mention that it is a Toshiba satellite A505-S6960. Thanks!