We were stupid enough to forget to backup the computer that had all of our kids photos on them for the last year. We noticed when our computer wouldn’t boot anymore due to the hard drive not responding.
Our company has a Barcelona-based company they recommended for data recovery, but they were hugely expensive (like starting at a thousand euros). I did some research on my own and found a small local company called PCColoma that offered hard disk recovery for a mere 200 euros + IVA.
They had to order a firmware upgrade tool from Seagate, and once they had it, they sent us a UPS sticker for picking up the drive. A couple days later they had the drive up and working, and emailed us a directory listing of the root directory. One Paypal payment later, the drive was on the way and everyone lived happily ever-after.
We have also learned our lesson and have a separate NAS box sitting in the basement doing daily backups of all our computers.