Mount the HD into another computer and try to access the files that way. As long as the drive isn't physically 'damaged', it should mount right up.
Then, if you still can't read from the drive, get a rescue program. It would help if you defined what 'crash' was. Does Windows just not start on the drive? Have you tried running a repair from the Windows CD if Windows isn't booting.
I've recovered dozens of 'crashed' hard drives of mine and friends' just by mounting it on another SATA port (or put into an external HD case) and access the drive that way, copied the files to DVD/other HD/Flashdrive, etc...
They also sell things like this:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153112
So you can just plop your drive into it and it acts like an external USB drive (they have 2.5", 3.5" and both like that one for various prices).