So you accidentally formatted your hard drive or storage device. Do not panic, or if you have already; please stop and read on. Whether you realize it or not, usually when you delete files on your computer, they are not removed immediately, they are merely removed from the computer's “sight" and by extension, yours. This even applies to drives that have been recently reformatted. What you need is to perform a formatted data recovery, which can be done by a number of file recovery software solutions. Below are a few you should consider.
"Recover My Files" is a Vista compatible program developed by GetData Software. The program also works for versions of Windows from Win 98 and up. Although the software is shareware and costs $60 for the full version, you can download a free trial which will allow you to easily recover your files. Naturally, if you only plan to use this as a one-time occurrence you can use the trial for formatted data recovery and not pay anything. However, if you work in IT or frequently lose data on your home computer, then the purchase price is well worth it.
Next in the list is VirtualLab Data Recovery by BinaryBiz. This program also works for all versions of Windows since 98 including Server and Vista. The license fee for VirtualLab varies from as low as $39 to over$300 depending on how you wish to use the software. Consumers can generally buy the Quota Edition for $39 or a little more if you wish to recover a lot of data. A free trial is also available like Recover My Files. In addition to formatted data recovery, VirtualLab can also recovery a variety of other formats, such as memory cards.
Finally we have R-Studio Data Recovery. This program is shareware, like the others, a free trial is available. If you decide to buy the software it will cost you $80, however R-Studio also has the broadest range of support OSes. Although the program itself runs on Windows, it can recover files lost on Mac, Linux, or even some UNIX computers. Specialized versions of R-Studio software are also available for the Mac and Linux OS if you do not have access to a computer with Windows. In addition to formatted data recovery, R-Studio also offers utilities to assist you with backing up your data and protecting it from being recovered by less than desirable individuals.
Steven Ross is an expert in Data Management and has written many more great articles at http://www.datamanagementreport.com