_pi-away writes "Recently a friend of mine had her IBM Deathstar die on her with what seems to be the corrupt NVRAM issue (yes, it should have been backed up, you're not helping). The local data recovery place quoted her $1,900, which she can't afford. I have seen a number of places online quoting flat rates as low as $290, but are these places really going to be able to get the data? How can a company charge 15% of what its competitor charges and still be profitable? Are most data recovery companies just ripping us off, or is there a catch to the lower prices?"