well it's not much of an update really. My friend has removed the hard disk and I am shopping for a data recovery place. Apparently they're quite popular.
I sent an email to the one closest to me asking:
1) how is the data returned to me?
2) aproximately how much does data recovery cost?
they emailed me back "we would love to recover your data for you. Just bring in your hard disk and we'll take a look at it and quote you a price."
Yup! That's all they said! No answer to the questions I asked. The reason I'm asking how the data gets returned is I need to know if their price includes a new hard disk (some places put the old data on a new hard disk that you just put into your computer.) Or will I need to provide them with something to put the data on? I have no idea and when I tried to call them, no one but the voice mail would pick up the phone. sigh
off to look elsewhere.
I've sent an email to a company that's a bit further away but their website has a "request a quote" link. I've requested the quote.