Recover data from crashed hard drive

I recently experienced a hard drive crash and have gotten my computer up and running again on windows 7.  Unfortunately I've lost some data that was not backed up and would like to try and recover.  Its not critical stuff  and not worth the expense of sending to a data recovery company, but it would be nice to get back some of what was lost if I can do it for under $100.  I'd rate my ability as intermediate with this sort of thing.

I tried connecting the drive as a second drive in my computer and the BIOS seems to recognize it but windows 7 will not boot with the drive connected.  - does this mean its a lost cause or is there something else I can try?
BLCSwimmerAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
In this situation, SpinRite (grc.com) is probably a good bet. It is not free, but has a good track record. I have used it before. It is possible that some data can be recovered and some cannot.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Ashok DewanFreelancerCommented:
you can recover data by following softwares
1. Recuva :- http://www.piriform.com/recuva
2. Stellar phoenix(tested , its good) :- http://www.stellarinfo.com/download.htm
2. getdata back :- http://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm
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shahzoorCommented:
try to choose format recover in any of the data recovery software
you can try this one also

http://freedatarecovery.us

Its better if you can connect  the harddrive via usb external jacket and try to recover the data. Recover my Files is the best for that but its not free
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Darr247Commented:
Test-Disk/PhotoRec are free. Though PhotoRec was originally for recovering photos from SD cards and other flash media, it works on hard drives, too, and has signatures for *many* file types... so if you know what types of files you lost, you can have it focus its search for just those types.
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nobusCommented:
first -  is the drive seen in the bios, when connected to a WORKING PC ?
if the answer is yes, you just boot from that PC -and access the files - tyou can have access denied problems though - you then need to take ownership of the files and folders
another way, is booting from a live Knoppix cd to copy the files you need  - no access problems here:
ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.7.0CD-2011-08-01-EN.iso 

this of course assumes the data can be read from the disk  - if the surface is scratched - there is no way to recover it
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BLCSwimmerAuthor Commented:
It turns out that I had a full backup on an external mybook drive that was doing automatic backups and didn't realize it.  In the end I only lost the last day or two of data- so there was no need to go any further with the bad drive.

I'll split the points amongst thinkspads_user and neil40m since if I did have to go further I would have started with their suggestions.

thanks expoerts.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thank you, and I was pleased to help out.  ... Thinkpads_User
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Darr247Commented:
Guess I'll have to tell TestDisk/PhotoRec's author to start charging $2000 for it... people think the expensive programs must be better because they're not free.
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