There are a lot of good software tools to recover data from a hard disk. But they can only help if the disk is technically undamaged. They can usually recover lost files, directory structures or partitions from an accidentally formatted, deleted or virus attacked hard drive.
All data rescue programs should always be installed on another data carrier.
In case of a data loss, don’t boot the hard disk anymore and in no case download or store any new data on the same hard disk. And better forget the story that a hard disk should be overwritten seven times in order to extinguish the data securely. Once overwritten, the data are gone. If you want to make use of these programs, the damaged hard disk has to be connected as second hard disk and the programs must be used in the “read only” mode. Best of all is to make an image of the hard disk (sector per sector) and then work with that image. Be careful if notebook hard disks are connected with an adapter.
Here are some useful links (without comment):
- GetDataBack for FAT, NTFS of Runtime Software
- R-Studio Data Recovery Software for FAT, NTFS, Ext2FS
- Stellar Phoenix Software for FAT, NTFS, Linux, Macintosh
- PC Inspector
- Ultimate Boot CD - u.a. Tools for HDD diagnostic
All these tools, including Ultimate Boot CD, can only help if the hard disk is recognized perfectly by the BIOS and grants access to the data surface. In other cases they are absolutely pointless or can possibly aggravate the situation.
The use of these tools is not recommended if the hard disk makes any atypical sound.