A buddy of mine managed to install Windows to the wrong hard drive, which actually contained the data he wanted to keep. During the installation, he'd erased the existing partitions, formatted and then proceeded with the installation before he realized what he had done. I was going to drop by tomorrow anyway, so I'll try to save what can be saved. AFAIK, formatting a drive alone shouldn't destroy the data completely and the installation only overwrote a small portion of the new volume so I have some hope, but that's just theory, so if anyone has any practical advice, I'm all ears. The PC in question is a mess, it's ancient and some of the components are literally falling apart. He has a second hard drive, but he's been having issues installing Windows on it, so I'm not counting too much on that drive providing the environment for recovery. Will it limit the efficiency of recovery software if I put the drive in an enclosure and connect it to my laptop over USB? I was thinking of using Recuva, as I've had decent success with it in the past. Alternatively, is there any way to make a bootable USB drive with some recovery tools? I know how to make a bootable USB that installs Windows, but those are single purpose and I was not successful in making something a bit more general purpose tonight. Hiren's?!