I'm not familiar with Vista (still on XP). What do you mean it'll only let you connect to the Internet? Don't you have to get onto your desktop normally first?
Anyway I would advise you not to use your "restore disc" till you've located and backed up your documents/photos. Usually these restore discs will get rid of everything you had and you'll lose everything.
You could install XP on a different drive and try to load with that as your OS to access the files... but that's a tedious process and doesn't get rid of Vista in the end... and I'm not sure if this is possible with Vista on there at the moment. I've done this before with Win98 then going to WinXP.
Or perhaps someone can point out a Linux boot disc solution that'll allow you to temporarily go in through Linux and grab what you need. I know these methods exist but haven't tried them personally to point you in the right direction.
335i E90 / Arctic / Gray / Burl Walnut / Steptronic / ZPP / ZSP / Paddles / CA / Nav / PDC / OEM Spoiler
Mods: PIAA Angel Eyes, Rear Fog Switch, Escort X50 Blue hardwire, 30% Charcoal Llumar
Installing soon: Rear Power Outlets (Happy Robot mod!)