A message appeared on my thinkpad saying that I had a power surser on USB. I turned the computer of but now cannot power it up. Do you think I have lost everything on my laptop or can I rescue my files?
You can probably recover your files on the hard disk.
One of the easiest ways is removing the hard disk from the laptop, putting it in an external USB adapter and hooking it up to another computer. If the hard disk and it's file structure is undamaged you should be able to browse through your files.
Example of an 2.5" SATA to USB external adapter
If your laptop has the older IDE style HDD you'd use an IDE version adapter.