People are often surprised at the range of prices offered by different data recovery companies online and on the high street. The reason for the differences becomes more obvious when you understand the difference in the types of service offered by these firms. At the cheap end of the market are the companies who offer data recovery as part of a range of other services (typically PC repair and IT). They will run recovery software on your drive. This is absolutely fine if your hard drive is 100% healthy (in other words the data loss was the result of file system corruption or accidental deletion). It is potentially lethal to your data if the hard drive is failing (for example suffering from bad sectors). The problem is that those who operate at the cheaper end of the market lack the expertise to know when they are placing data in peril. They have only one approach to the loss of hard drive data and that is to pound the drive using recovery software, if works, fine then they get paid, if it doesn’t they move onto the next job (and at these prices they get plenty of jobs). Unfortunately the pieces then get passed to data recovery specialists who could have carried out a complete disk recovery had they received the drive first but are now left with a drive in which there is nothing recoverable left. Ask any specialist recovery company and they will tell you, this is a daily feature of their lives.