If you really want your old files back, stop!
Reason you must stop working on recovery of your personal data is because every time your run any recovery software, you are risking the possibility of never recovering the missing files you seek as hard drive operations will always overwrite what it thinks are empty data areas. These empty data areas may in fact, contain all or parts of the missing files, but overwriting operations will make them lost forever.
Best recourse and solution is to use http://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/ It is not free, but routine data backup to other backup media is much cheaper. We cannot lose what we backup.
What happened here appears to be that drive D: was on the same hard drive as drive C: Your strategy of saving your backup files would have worked only if:
-You used another separate hard drive and named that D:
-You used CD or DVD or Blu-Ray discs to backup your files.
-You used an USB flash drive to backup your files.
When you formatted your single and main drive containing both C: and D: on the same hard drive, the format did what it was told to do, and formatted both C: and D: and both partitions were lost. Result: All data on drive D: was lost. Re-installing Windows on the newly created partition did not help matters either.
Just finished formatting my laptop drive due to slowness possibly caused by spyware. Before doing said action I partitioned the main drive (C:) and created a 2nd backup drive (D:) using some tools in Windows 7's control panel.
Before formatting my drive I put all my important files (from the downloads folder, desktop, and the libraries) from there previous locations from C to new folders w/ the same name in D.
After re-formatting the drive and re-installation of Windows 7 all the files I had (important docs, pics, and mp3s/mp4s) in my library were gone. I've spent all day trying to retrieve the files ("free" software recovery programs, reading forums) however I can't seem to get them back.
Any suggestions, advices?
Thanks, Joseph ps - sorry for the long post. had to detail my actions so it would be clear