EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition
I love free because, err... it saves you money. And in the case of Easeus Data Recovery Wizard Free 5.01, it will also save you grief and data. 1GB of data to be specific. In some cases that will cover your needs; however, if you just lost your MP3, digital image, or video collection--probably not. Also, that's a running count--so each time you recover data, you can recover less of it.
Still, Easeus Data Recovery Wizard Free actually works and it's not a glorified undelete program like some you'll encounter. It will do that--but it also does sector-by-sector recovery, which is required when your file or partition table goes kaboom. If the demo shows the files you're looking for, you can always purchase the full-blown, unlimited-recovery version for $70. That's $10 cheaper than R-Studio--one of my standbys--and a lot cheaper than Ontrack's EasyRecovery Professional, but more than Active @ File Recovery, which is another of my favorites.
DRW worked as advertised for me; recovering deleted data from an existing partition, deleted data from a deleted partition, deleted data from a corrupted partition, and deleted data from a partition that had been deleted, then overwritten with another. The latter two scenarios require that you select Complete Recovery which does the sector scanning.
Since, unlike most demos, this one actually lets you recover data--as well as see any data beyond the 1GB limit that can be recovered--it's a good bet as a download. It seems to work as well as the others, but I'd try them all and see which one you like (assuming the hard drive isn't in a state of constant deterioration) before deciding on Easeus Data Recovery Wizard or any of them.
--Jon L. Jacobi