So I need some help, and who better to turn to then my gamer friends. I have a hard drive that has become all befuddled and am needing to try and extract as much data off it as possible. I've tried finding some data recovery software, and all the ones I've found will let you scan but will only limit you to say 1 gb to recover before making you purchase the software. Seeing as that isn't a viable option for me, does anyone know of any reasonable data recovery software that is free?
Janeway: Tuvok! *clapclap* Release my hounds!
Krenim: Hounds? How cliche.
Janeway: Tuvok! *clapclap* Release my rape gorilla!
Krenim: ...We'll show ourselves out.
What's the state of the drive?
Does it mount in windows (can you access it?)
Is it clicking?
If you are savvy, I would use linux and take a dd image of the drive.
If not so savvy, I would use TestDisk: http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk (while still an advanced program there are guides)
guide here: http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step
you might also consider PhotoRec: http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec if you don't need deep disk recovery.
If you have no backup and can't live without your files, honestly I would take it to a professional. However if you are reasonably good with computers and are willing to take a risk have at it.