Thank you so much for the advice! Any suggestions on a good expert service? Thanks again!
Well, it is a Toshiba laptop, so maybe you could start looking from there. Or maybe you have some "geek" friend who could take a first look at it. In any case, the "first, do no harm" approach is generally better in regards to data.
Keep in mind that there are general services, recovery services, and hardware services. Before sending your laptop to anyone, you should be clear about what you expect. For example, if you are interested in recovering the (specific) info, you should ask if that is part of the service (and costs), or they simply go back to factory defaults (if they can), with no data (your own documents) recovery.
As I mentioned above, your current problem could be something that takes 10 minutes to solve and no data nor hardware loss, or it may be a "complete disaster" (or anything in between).
For the future, you would know that you need regular backups, and if you are interested, you could practice and learn how to use recovery and testing tools and methods (from battery and power checking, to...), before actually having a problem.
Of course, all this is only IMHO. You can still search for other suggestions.