As to "free" or "paid for", it always depends on how valuable the data is. In most cases where the disk is actually damaged, you'll need a professional such as the one in the last link.:
PC Inspector File Recovery for FAT32 and NTFS
I am running a Compaq Presario 5400 It has 1.2G processor running Windows XP SP2. I had replaced the original 20 G hard drive with a 60 Gig. The 60 is bad (and will be replaced by Maxtor) but there are files (last year's Turbo Tax and some photos) I'd like to recover if possible... Any suggestions as to a reasonable priced (or free) recovery software package I can use to harvest these old files?
I am back running with the old 20 Gig drive for now. I haven't been able to get the Bios to recognise that the other drive is there (the 60 Gig)when I cable select it as the slave (or jumper it as the slave). Thanking you in advance!