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I have already had the same problem before. On that ocasion, I found a program that could scan my entire HD for string pieces so I could recover it. Unfortunatelly I don't remember the name of the program. It had to access the HD data directly, normal searches won't get any data from the HD before formatting.

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PhotoRec does this kind of thing –  tcovo Dec 24 '11 at 4:41
    
Try this also: piriform.com/recuva –  benni_mac_b Dec 24 '11 at 14:18
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Dec 25 '11 at 4:26

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