Someone I know via the internet recently lost her hard drive. Didn't back up any data. She lost some what seems to be very important photos to her.
From your posts, I know you two ain't micro-serfs, but thought you might know of the current state of data recovery, reputable services, etc.
Turn around ain't important. And from what I can tell from her description, it sounds like a mechanical failure due to overheating which I am sure also created data corruption as well.
No DIY stuff, it is out of her league.
I haven't had to deal with this kinda thing in a meaningful manner for over a decade.
Again she is probably willing to depart with some decent cash to at least recover the photos. She sounds a bit distraught.