If you have a physically damaged hard drive, as could happen if you drop a laptop, and need to recover the data from it be prepared for a large bill at the end of the process. Data retrieval from physically damaged hard drives requires a certified clean room environment so that the drive can be disassembled and the platters removed and mounted in specialised retrieval rigs. As this equipment doesn't come cheap the charges for data recovery are high.
For example, Easy Recovery of Belfast (www.easyrecovery.co.uk) normally charge a flat fee of £499 or €728 to recover the contents of a hard drive. This is a competitive price and is typical of what you can expect to pay. As you can see, it can cost you as much as a new machine to recover your data when a hard drive physically fails. Just one more reason to get into the habit of backing up those irreplaceable photographs, that draft thesis, or important financial documents. Just do it!