Get the System Rescue CD. If you have at least a gig of RAM, choose to load/cache files into memory, that way you can take out the disk once it's booted.
Once booted, to try and access your files:
If you want a graphical environment, type 'wizard'. Then look for a 'terminal' or 'xterm' to enter these commands in.
Create a directory to 'mount' your Windows partition. Linux doesn't use drive letters, instead it combines all disks and partitions into one structure. Linux uses forward slashes not backslashes to separate folders.
check the partitions on your disk
You will get a list of partitions, with names like sda1, sda2, and so on. One of them should be your Windows partition - probably the biggest. Mount the partition
mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/partition_name windows
And you should find your Windows disk under /mnt/windows
If you get any errors, post them here. The CD gives a brief instruction on getting online from it when it boots - if you start the graphical environment you can then copy-and-paste from the terminal window to firefox. In Linux, copy by simply selecting text, and paste by middle-clicking, or clicking left and right buttons together if you have no middle button/wheel.
You mention burning a DVD, which should be possible. A usb stick would probably be more convenient though. Or if you can connect the laptop by ethernet to another computer, you can transfer the files that way.