There is one problem with the area of data recovery software, Software companies know that a good recovery program is something that people will pay good money for. So most freeware and shareware programs comes with very basic functionality.
Can be saved and run from bootable floppy
Displays complete physical and logical drive information
Supports IDE / ATA / SCSI drives
Supports large (more than 8GB) Hard Drive
Supports NTFS, NTFS5 file systems for reading
Supports FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 file systems for data writing
Supports compressed and fragmented files on NTFS
Supports partitions created in MS-DOS, Windows XP, 2000, NT, ME, 98, 95
Displays non-english and long file names
Ability to preview file(s)/folder(s) before copying
Supports search by file name or mask
Disk Viewer displays content of the file in Hex/Text mode
The limitation of this program is that it can’t read from drives with damaged partition tables or from partitions that has damaged boot sectors, because it needs to be able to see the NTFS partition before it can copies data from it.
Active@ Data Recovery Service (The company that made this software) has a commercial version, Active@ Partition Recovery, this software has ability to search the drive for lost partitions and copy data from damaged hard drive, so it is a complete recovery tool.
Please Note: NTFS reader will work under MS DOS, Windows 9x/ME but not on Windows 2000 or Windows XP, because this program uses Direct Disk Access and these Operating systems does not allow that.