Hey folks! I ran across this nifty program called TestDisk that runs in just about any OS that will recover data from a formatted drive quite easily. You can use this to analyze a donated computer, or also to foil someone’s attempts at destroying juicy data that you may want to find. You can download TestDisk for your individual setup here, just find the link for your OS and go!
Everything is very plug and play, just grip it and rip it, so I won’t bore you with the step by step.
Windows 64-bit Use only on systems lacking WoW64 as some features are missing
Linux, kernel 2.6.18 or later i386
Linux, kernel 2.6.18 or later x86_64
Mac OS X Intel
Mac OS X PowerPC
Marvell 88F628x Linux 2.6.32 Synology DS111, DS211, DS212+ NAS
TestDisk & PhotoRec Source code
Online documentation: TestDisk, PhotoRec