One of my friends recently gave me his Windows XP hard drive that had been inadvertently formatted and re-installed with Windows XP. He wanted to know if some family photos could be recovered from the hard drive. It's been several years since I've looked at Windows System Utilities for File Recovery or Hard Drive Recovery, especially the Freeware for free programs out there.
I tried several different freeware file recovery programs (OfficeRecover, PC Inspector File Recovery, Padora Recovery, DataRecovery) and finally found Recuva thanks to a PC World Review. In less than 20 minutes, Recuva was installed and found the majority of the missing files although it took my friend an hour or so to manually search through all the thumbnails on the drive.
If you use Microsoft Windows and need to recover files from a formatted hard drive, I would check out Recuva! It is Freeware, although I told my friend he should find his Paypal account to leave a little something for the Recuva developer!
Here is the link I used to download Recuva.