You can start with live DVD and copy your files with it for some other harddrive,usb stick .
When started with live,go to desktop icon COMPUTER,open it.You find all partitions of you computer.
Open systems/Home,there are files you save before.There are 2 place where you see systems as started with live DVD ,other is this right.Look both of them,if you can open them.
It can reinstall too for same place,but if something goes wrong ,your files are not in folders.
I'm using partition for SWAP 3,5G,partition / for system 19G,partition HOME 40G ,partition for files FREE hdd G.
This way i move files to FREE hdd G before reinstall new operating systems,don't need things like other hdd.
Note linux can also open the windows files.