just to be clear
Then here's my plan.
Use my gfs laptop that worls.download ubuntu to her computer.
Burn it to a dvd
Put ubuntu dvd into my pos lenovo
Plug my external hard drive into the pos lenvov
Start lenovo and somehow that disk will allow me to move pictures etc from crashed pc to external hard drive.
Then we install vista /lenovo recovery to factory restart and everything is back to normal