4. PC Inspector File Recovery - like the others in our list, this program allows the user to search for missing files, even going so far as finding files with a missing boot sector.
5. Restoration - easy to use interface on this program allows for the retrieval of files, even from a reformatted flash drive. It works well with FAT and NTFS drives, as well as digital camera cards.
This is of course just a small list of freeware for a corrupted hard drive. It is important to note that you do not try to install any of these programs on the corrupted hard drive; the best way is to either use a secondary drive or a flash drive in which to load and then run the program. All of the programs listed are able to run without installation, making it easier to retrieve any erased file.
Once again, I would like to stress the importance of backing up your computer. Backing up your important files and documents on a regular basis will ensure that if you should encounter this problem or something worse, you have not lost anything. There are many online solutions, like online storage or even file syncing programs that allow you to save or sync files, music, videos, and photos to the online site or to a secondary computer.
Here's an article that goes through important files you should back up.
Again, these programs are just in the case of a corrupted hard drive; cases of crashed hard drives are another story. As mentioned, this is when the hard drive is having an actual hardware failure and a replacement may be in your future. To learn more about recovery data from a crashed hard drive, see this article.
All of these programs can be found and downloaded from Download.