Turns out I didn't fry my hard drive. I fried my motherboard. Even. Worse.
The computer has been given its last rites and a laptop has been ordered. Whether or not the IT gurus can retrieve files from the old hard drive remains to be seen. I will keep my fingers crossed. Either way, I'm not worrying about it until the end of finals/semester.
5:00 PM EDIT: IT gurus called; they recovered 16 Gb of data. Hopefully that contains the two Word docs that I really really really want.