Anyone care to recommend the best file recovery app out there? Freeware/Purchase - either way.
I couldn't say who the best is, but I've downloaded and tried at least a dozen over the years.
And one that I always seem to use the most is Bad Copy Pro
I've used it mostly to recovery off of floppy disks. But it does a pretty good job of getting as much data as possible.
Lastly, doesn't matter how good a recovery program is, if there is physical damage, data simply cannot be read off it. These programs just try to read and compile as much data back as possible.
Also of note, though slightly off topic. I use Beyond Compare a LOT for getting data off drives. In these cases, the drives are more or less "good", but may have bad sectors here and there.
This program is excellent for "comparing" your backup folder with the drive you are recovering from. Select all the files you want and have it syncronize. If there are any files it can't copy, it just skips them and moves on. Unlike, say, a plain Windows copy where, if one file fails, the entire copy quits. Beyond Compare just keeps going. I love that program.